Pompey vs Everton Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 13 January 2006
Tommorow will see Sacha Gaydamak's first Pompey game since he became joint owner and his presence is certainly being felt. Since Gaydamak arrived Harry Redknapp has spent in the region of £12 million to bolster the squad with Benjani and the Spurs trio coming in.

Mendes, Davis and Pamarot are all set to make their debuts and if Benjani isn't called up to the African Nations Cup then he will also make his Pompey debut. So who will these three players replace? Well Dejan Stefanovic is banned following his fifth booking of the season at Blackburn so Pamarot (who can play centre) is likely to go there. With Laurent Robert gone we now have a vacancy on the right which will probably see Gary O'Neil being moved there as the new likely central midfield partnership of Mendes and Davis takes form which is a bit gutting for Richard Hughes as I think he has played well recently.

I'm not sure what the deal is on Lomana Lua Lua's situation is. He's been included in the squad so I assume he will play however don't quote me on that! If he does start then we have many options on who could partner him with Benjani (should he be cleared to play), Olisadebe, Dario Silva, Toddy and even the now fit again Vincent Pericard. So it'll be interesting to see Harry's team selection come Saturday afternoon.

Onto the match itself and looking at it it's one we really should be looking to win. Our opposition for the day is Everton who hold particularly bad memories for us in our last two seasons in the Premiership. Who can remember back in our first Premier League season where Rooney should have been sent off and yet stays on the pitch and scores the winner? And then how about last season at Goodison? How bloody jammy can you be!? So it's only fair that Duncan Ferguson should score an own goal in the match earlier this season and give us our first win.

Martyn and Arteta are doubts but one player who is almost certain to play is James "Scummer" Beattie. Now I don't know about you but the absolute last thing I want to see tommorow is that git run past the Fratton End with his hand cupped to his ear. So in a vain plea I do ask that we don't start the "Scummer" chant until he's being subbed off... then let rip!

Everton themselves haven't been great on the road and I can remember Villa and West Brom putting 4 past them so if they can do it then surely we can manage 3? The importance of this game cannot be underestimated. A win and we will be out of the bottom 3 (for a day at least) however any other result and we could be knee deep in trouble. I have no idea what to expect tommorow so let's just hope our new faces can make a good contribution and that we can just get the job done even if we need another own goal to settle it!

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