Pompey vs Manchester City Preview

Last updated : 10 March 2006 By Jim Bonner
We all know the importance of this game as Pompey fans. Those of us who still have a shred of hope left when it comes to Premiership survival know that we must win this game. Anything other than three points tommorow then even I will believe we are doomed to travelling to Kenilworth Road next season. Even pundits believe we will take a maximum tommorow because of what rests on this game.

On to the team news and it looks if so Benjani is going to return to the starting line up, the law of averages suggests he has to score sometime and if there is a time for a debut goal then it's now. (How many times have I said that!?) That statement also applies to Andres D'Alessandro who is likely to start too after his wife gave birth so hopefully he will celebrate that with a performance similar to his debut against Bolton almost a month ago. Other than them two players expect your typical Redknapp selection to face off against Citeh tommorow afternoon.

As for our opponents they will be allowed to play Joey Barton after I initially said they wouldn't in a previous article. This is because his second yellow forced a red making his ban immediate rather than delayed so he ended up missing the game against Sunderland. There will be no Andy Cole for the visitors which is great news for us because he always seems to score against us no matter if he plays for Blackburn, Fulham or City. Watch out for Samaras though, he's looked dangerous every time I've seen him play.

It's quite ironic that this fixture last season is the game we thought we had seen the last of Redknapp as Pompey manager. A game we lost 3-1 after being torn apart by Shaun Wright-Phillips who thankfully doesn't play for City anymore. City have a dire away record and have a sequence of games previously where they have won then lost, won then lost etc etc and they have won their last game so the omens all point to a Pompey victory therefore if any neutrals are reading this, go and bet on City as we never follow the script.

I think if we do manage to win it will be a scrappy 1-0 because our goalscoring record is the worst in the entire country across both the English and Scottish leagues. Our defence aren't exactly the best either but who knows? These are extremely desperate times so we need extremely desperate measures to win so I don't care how we win this game whether it's an own goal, handled into the net, dodgy penalty or even Benjani managing to score! I don't want to be sitting on that bus tommorow evening contemplating my route to Plymouth next season. (Who's the idiot at South West Trains that decided to do engineering work on a Saturday matchday!?)

We all know what's at stake, even if it is just hope. By the time this game starts we'll all know the result of Birmingham vs West Brom too so the gap might be even wider before we've even kicked a ball. The famous chimes ring "Play Up Pompey", it's about time we did.