Nottingham Forest vs Portsmouth Preview
By Jim Bonner
Updated Friday, 14th January 2011
Pompey face difficult task at the City Ground.Pompey take on in-form Nottingham Forest tomorrow in hopes of causing something of an upset.
Dave Kitson begins his three match ban for Pompey whilst Greg Halford serves his last. There is some good news though as Liam Lawrence is fit for the trip and Ricardo Rocha may also be available following a hamstring problem.
There is more good news as Ritchie De Laet has also joined the club and is eligible to play in this match.
Billy Davies may recall Paul McKenna to his starting line-up after the midfielder's two-month absence from the team whilst he must also decide whether to play Chris Cohen or Joel Lynch at left back.
With Nottingham Forest unbeaten at home in 31 league matches, it's safe to say that the vast majority of Pompey fans won't be expecting much from the trip to the City Ground tomorrow.
Whilst Ritchie De Laet has joined the club to reinforce the defence, there is still major concern over the fact that Pompey have leaked 12 goals in four games. It'll be interesting to see where De Laet plays tomorrow - I believe he'll replace Dickinson at left back.
It will also be interesting to see how Pompey will line up in an attacking sense without Dave Kitson. Kanu is likely to play behind Nugent who will be up front on his own with Ciftci and Utaka on the wings, which will mean the full backs will have plenty of work to do as neither winger will track back much.
It wouldn't surprise me to see Steve Cotterill to play a more containing game after the recent defensive woes. However, stopping a team that contains the likes of Robert Earnshaw, Marcus Tudgay and Radoslaw Majewski is going to be very difficult so I can't see a clean sheet for our lads tomorrow.
But then this is a very unpredictable division and although Forest have only suffered one defeat since their loss at Fratton Park (away at Leicester) and are unbeaten in the league at the City Ground since Blackpool beat them in September 2009, you can't write Pompey off completely.
After all, Barnsley managed to go to Forest and draw (after being 2-0 up) so there is some hope. Realistically though, the best we can expect is a 0-0 draw in an attempt to contain Billy Davies' men.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Lee CAMP
RB: Chris GUNTER
CB: Wes MORGAN
CB: Luke CHAMBERS
LB: Chris COHEN
RM: Paul ANDERSON
CM: Radoslaw MAJEWSKI
CM: Guy MOUSSI
LM: Nathan TYSON
CF: Robert EARNSHAW
CF: Marcus TUDGAY
GK: Jamie ASHDOWN
RB: Joel WARD
CB: Ibrahima SONKO
CB: Aaron MOKOENA
LB: Ritchie DE LAET
RM: Nadir CIFTCI
CM: Liam LAWRENCE
CM: Hayden MULLINS
LM: John UTAKA
CF: David NUGENT
Last Time: Nottingham Forest 2 Portsmouth 4 (League Cup Third Round - 29/10/2003)
Eugen Bopp (remember him!?) put Forest ahead before an own goal by Des Walker levelled the tie. Yakubu gave Pompey the lead after the break with a smashing shot but Bopp struck again three minutes later to equalise and take the game to extra time.
Pompey then showed their Premier League quality as Jason Roberts scored the third goal and the Yak then bagged his second of the game to ensure that Paul Hart's men were beaten.
Pompey's recent record at the City Ground is good but I can only see a heavy defeat here given the current form of both teams.
Nottingham Forest 3 Portsmouth 0
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