Pompey vs Arsenal Preview

Last updated : 24 March 2006 By Jim Bonner
Our recent revival faces a stern test tommorow as Arsenal come down south in a match that features two teams in resurgent form.

Arsenal have been criticised this season for their poor away form, something we could capitalise on as the confidence within Pompey grows and the players are showing their true ability, and if ever we needed to play to our full potential then tommorow would be the day considering our leaky defence will go head to head with Theirry Henry and new boy Emmanuel Adebayor.

Redknapp is likely to stick with the same team that trounced West Ham last week, although Toddy might start and I hope if he doesn't then the crowd won't get on Benjani's back as soon as the first whistle goes. Dejan Stefanovic has also been penciled in for a place on the bench tommorow, there always seems to be a suprise selection in the gaffers team selection though so don't be suprised if the Pompey captain actually starts straight from the off tommorow. Speaking of returning defenders, Sol Campbell is likely to feature for Arsenal tommorow. If you're reading this Sol we could do without another 35 yard screamer thanks!

It's no secret that the best way to beat Arsenal is to get in their faces and make the game very physical. Looking through our squad the only main players who have a great physical side to their game are Karadas, Hughes (who's injured), Davis and Primus. So we'll probably play exactly the same way we have been and I'm fearful of that because Arsenal happen to be one of the best counter-attacking sides in Europe as Real Madrid found out. Having said that if we can unsettle Fabregas, Pires and co and cut out the supply to Theirry Henry and Adebayor then we have a chance. A lot has been made of how to stop Henry tommorow, I just hope that hasn't emphasised too much or else other players are going to take advantage.

I would take a point tommorow, simply because Birmingham are likely to recieve a second consecutive drubbing at the hands of Man United and I can't see West Brom taking anything from White Hart Lane on Sunday. So the encouragement is there for a great performance tommorow.

And Finally...

Introducing a new feature to Fratton Faithful match previews... "Pundit Watch"!

Every week I will display a list of various pundits and websites and give you their verdict on the match in question, along with their predicted scoreline if applicable. Here's what they reckon this week:

Pundit Watch:

Lawro: Away Win (0-2)
Townsend: Away Win (1-3)
Sky Sports: Away Win (0-2)
Soccernet: Away Win
Charlie Nicholas: Away Win (2-3)