Pompey vs Blackburn Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 26 April 2008
With only three Premier League games remaining, you'd think that Pompey will have to beat Blackburn at Fratton Park tomorrow to have any hope of securing European football before the Cup Final.

After last week's defensive debacle at Manchester City, David James and co. will want to bounce back from that by stopping the likes of Benni McCarthy, David Bentley and Roque Santa Cruz scoring.

Those three players have been key to Rovers' success this season and it's still possible that Mark Hughes' side can gain an Intertoto Cup place, though if we can get any result against Blackburn then it should guarantee that we finish above them.

Glen Johnson will be recalled to the side after illness which means Lauren will switch to left back to fill in for the suspended Hermann Hreidarsson. Harry will revert back to the 4-4-2 formation which means that Papa Bouba Diop will most likely drop to the bench as John Utaka is a far more effective operator on the right and also scored last week.

I predict that Milan Baros will be selected to play up front with Jermain Defoe as Harry will want to keep Kanu wrapped in cotton wool until the Cup Final. That may mean that David Nugent will be given a chance to prove that he is worthy of playing at Wembley come May 17th.

Blackburn will most likely be unchanged after drawing with Man United last week and you can guarantee that they will give us a tough game. With Man City losing today we have got an incentive to cement our place in 7th at the very least with Everton and Villa to play later in the day.

Here's hoping there will be one final Pompey push before the Cup Final!

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Pompey

GK: David JAMES

RB: Glen JOHNSON
CB: Sol CAMPBELL
CB: Sylvain DISTIN
LB: LAUREN

RM: John UTAKA
CM: Sulley MUNTARI
CM: Lassana DIARRA
LM: Niko KRANJCAR

CF: Milan BAROS
CF: Jermain DEFOE

Bench: Asmir BEGOVIC, Lucien AUBEY, Sean DAVIS, David NUGENT, KANU

Blackburn

GK: Brad FRIEDEL

RB: Brett EMERTON
CB: Ryan NELSEN
CB: Chris SAMBA
LB: Stephen WARNOCK

RM: David BENTLEY
CM: Steven REID
CM: Johann VOGEL
LM: Morten GAMST PEDERSEN

CF: Jason ROBERTS
CF: Roque SANTA CRUZ

Bench: Jason BROWN, Aaron MOKOENA, Andre OOJIER, David DUNN, Benni McCARTHY

Last Time: Pompey 3 Blackburn Rovers 0

A new-look Pompey tore apart Blackburn on the opening day of last season. Benjani squared across the box for Todorov to tap in the first goal, then Kanu was introduced and scored with his first touch after nodding in Sean Davis' cross.

Lucas Neill was then sent off for a second yellow card and Kanu headed in his second goal from Gary O'Neil's cross. The Nigerian should have had a hat-trick after Andy Todd was sent off for bringing him down but Friedel saved and the rebound was somehow put wide.

Pundit Watch

Lawro: Away Win (1-2)
Sky Sports: Away Win (0-1)
Soccernet: Home Win
Footy-Mad: Home Win
Matt Le Tissier: Home Win (2-1)

My Prediction: Home Win (2-1)

Portsmouth Match Reports


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