Peterborough vs Portsmouth Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 27 January 2012

Pompey fans will be hoping that a tough week will end on a high note with victory at London Road tomorrow.

Team News

Aaron Mokoena and Tal Ben-Haim are available again after recovering from injury but Luke Varney is to see a specialist about his persistent knee problem.

David Norris serves the second of his three match ban although he will be missing for a further game after he underwent a hernia operation.

Grant McCann has recovered from a knee injury for Peterborough and will make his first start since December whilst Lee Frecklington and George Boyd are also set to return to bolster the midfield.

Goalkeeper Joe Lewis is set to stay in goal despite fans calling for him to be dropped after some errors in recent matches.

The Match

To say it has been a difficult week for Portsmouth Football Club would be an understatement. For all we know, this may be one of the last matches in Pompey history so we need to make the most of it.

Michael Appleton has issued a rallying cry and you can be sure that our players will give everything to win and maintain their focus... unless they're just about to be sold, of course.

A win is vital tomorrow given that if Pompey do survive, it's likely to be with a points deduction having gone into administration or having sold the best players, which will see the inevitable slide down the table.

The second half performance against Cardiff will give fans hope that Pompey can grab the three points that will see them ten points clear of the bottom three before "squeaky bum time" next week.

What needs to improve is the sloppy defending that cost us the game last week. With Posh back to full strength you would expect them to create plenty of chances so our whole team can't afford to go to sleep like many did last week.

Thankfully, Darren Ferguson's men like to concede goals as they did at Fratton Park in the return fixture and I think Marko Futacs should cause plenty of problems and find the back of the net once again.

Whatever happens, it's important that us fans stick together and do our best to simply enjoy the Pompey matches we've got left before the real struggle sets in.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Peterborough

GK: Joe LEWIS

RB: Mark LITTLE

CB: Gabriel ZAKUANI

CB: Ryan BENNETT

LB: Craig ALCOCK

DM: Grant McCANN

RM: Lee FRECKLINGTON

LM: Tommy ROWE

AM: George BOYD

CF: Lee TOMLIN

CF: Emile SINCLAIR

Pompey

GK: Stephen HENDERSON

RB: Greg HALFORD

CB: Ricardo ROCHA

CB: Jason PEARCE

LB: Tal BEN-HAIM

RM: Liam LAWRENCE

CM: Hayden MULLINS

CM: Kelvin ETUHU

LM: Joel WARD

SS: Dave KITSON

CF: Marko FUTACS

Last Time: Peterborough United 2 Portsmouth 2 (League Cup First Round, First Leg - 12/08/1997)

Hamilton Thorp and David Hillier scored at London Road in the first leg of this rare meeting between Posh and Pompey. Terry Fenwick's men would lose the second leg at Fratton Park 2-1 just under two weeks later.

My Prediction

Posh have struggled with their only recent wins coming against Coventry and Forest so they could be vulnerable but given all that has happened this week and the defending at Cardiff last week, I can't see us holding on for a win.

Peterborough United 1 Portsmouth 1

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