Newport vs Portsmouth Preview

Pompey take on Newport County at Rodney Parade tomorrow for a place in the area semi-finals of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

Team News

Gavin Mahon is banned after his red card at Stevenage on Saturday and Jed Wallace is also suspended having picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the same game. Simon Ferry and Therry Racon could return to the starting eleven.

The Newport squad is currently ravaged by injury after star striker Chris Zebroski dislocated his kneecap against Braintree to add to an ever growing treatment list. Strike partner Aaron O'Connor is out along with five other players but Robbie Willmott is available again after serving his one match ban.

The Match

You can sense that Pompey fans are starting to care a little about this competition as a sixth trip to Wembley draws ever closer. Should Whittingham's men come through this tie then just three games would stand between them and the final.

But whilst our fans may not take the "pisspot trophy" too seriously having witnessed an FA Cup win back in 2008, from the players' perspective they will be hungry to win a trophy in their career having never had the opportunity to win silverware in the past. Guy is certainly taking the competition seriously.

Newport have had a good season so far but this should be a good time to play them given all of their injury problems and Justin Edinburgh may field a weakened side just to ensure he can save his strongest available team for the league.

Hopefully Whittingham will drop Ertl again and give the midfield some pace in the centre as well as out wide. Wallace's suspension shouldn't hurt too much with Andy Barcham and Ricky Holmes on the wings but Patrick Agyemang and David Connolly aren't likely to play the full 90 minutes so this is a big opportunity for the likes of Ryan Bird and Tom Craddock to make their statements of intent.

After Saturday's gallant effort against Stevenage, Pompey fans have every reason to be confident about this one.

My Prediction

A couple of players may be rested but Pompey should have enough to defeat Newport's walking wounded.

Newport County 0 Portsmouth 2