Plymouth vs Portsmouth Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 14 November 2014

Pompey will be hoping to improve their away form when they take on Plymouth Argyle at Home Park on Sky TV tomorrow lunchtime.

Team News

Plymouth will be without influential loan midfielder Bobby Reid as he has been recalled by Bristol City. Kevin Mellor is a possible doubt after missing Argyle's defeat at Coventry in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy during the week.

Pompey were dealt a big blow when it was revealed that James Dunne will be missing for around eight weeks after having surgery on his knee cartilage and Paul Robinson is also suspended after his silly red card against Aldershot on Sunday. Ben Chorley is in line to replace him.

The Match

Plymouth's home form is good. Very good, in fact, having taken 19 points from a possible 24 available at Home Park. In contrast, Pompey's away form is mediocre at best, having taken just 6 points from 24 and scoring just three goals in the process. So, this should be a home banker, right?

In all honesty, you wouldn't expect much money to be placed on a Portsmouth win come the ridiculous kick-off time of 12:05 given their away record, recent performance against Aldershot and the fact that two key players in Dunne and Robinson are missing.

Because of that, Andy Awford may change the playing system once again and has hinted that he will do that. It's likely the central midfield will become a trio because it seems that Nigel Atangana and Johnny Ertl can't partner Danny Hollands in midfield by themselves with the former being too erratic and the latter simply not mobile enough.

Chorley is also likely to get the nod as Robinson's replacement but then what has happened to Jack Whatmough? The official website doesn't list him as an injury casualty but he hasn't featured in the squad recently ad this is likely to be a match where his ability is required.

Packing the midfield may also see the return of Ryan Taylor up front on his own, which logically would work better than any of the other strikers at Awford's disposal, especially after their performances on Sunday.

Whoever is picked, they are going to have to produce a tactically astute performance to get anything out of this game. Hope isn't lost as Argyle fans are cursing the loss of Bobby Reid who made them tick in midfield, but his namesake Reuben has seven league goals this season and is bound to cause problems for a weakened Pompey back line.

If Awford's men could win in front of the Sky cameras tomorrow then it would sent out a real message to the rest of the league and get some of the dissenters off the manager's back, but it will be a tough ask.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Plymouth

GK: Luke McCORMICK

RWB: Anthony O'CONNOR

CB: Curtis NELSON

CB: Carl McHUGH

CB: Peter HARTLEY

LWB: Andy KELLETT

CM: Lee COX

CM: Dominic BLIZZARD

AM: Lewis ALLESANDRA

CF: Reuben REID

CF: Dean SMALLEY

Pompey

GK: Paul JONES

RB: Alex WYNTER

CB: Joe DEVERA

CB: Ben CHORLEY

LB: Nicky SHOREY

DM: Danny HOLLANDS

DM: Johnny ERTL

RM: Jed WALLACE

CM: Nigel ATANGANA

LM: Ricky HOLMES

CF: Ryan TAYLOR

Last Time: Plymouth Argyle 1 Portsmouth 1 (League Two - 12/10/2013)

Conor Hourihane capitalised on Yassin Moutaouakil's error as he attempted to chest the ball back to Trevor Carson only to get it wrong and gift the Pilgrims the lead but Jed Wallace ensured the spoils were shared with a strike from outside the box in a tightly contested match.

My Prediction

Everything points to a home win, which is what I expect it will be in front of a live TV audience due to key players missing and not being able to score away from home.

Plymouth Argyle 2 Portsmouth 0 

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Sat 18th November 15:00

Portsmouth 1 - 0 Southend United

Last game - Match Centre


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