Pompey vs Newcastle Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 11 April 2008
Harry Redknapp faces the club he may have been managing as Pompey host Newcastle United in the late kick off tomorrow looking to close in on Everton.

If Harry doesn't already believe that he made the right decision to stay at Pompey after taking us to the FA Cup Final then a win against Kevin Keegan's side would certainly re-assure him that staying here was the right thing to do.

Three weeks ago this fixture was a nailed on home win. The Geordies were embarrassingly bad and looked like getting sucked right into the relegation battle. However, Keegan has found some sort of winning formula and his team have won their last three games with some conviction.

However, those wins were against teams that can't defend and not against a team who have kept a whopping 21 clean sheets in 41 games and have been in fine form themselves having won every home game in 2008 bar a draw against Chelsea.

They will also be facing the returning Jermain Defoe who has scored 8 goals in his last 7 games and will be looking to score in a record 5th consecutive home game. Defoe is likely to be partnered up front by David Nugent as Milan Baros is doubtful and Kanu will be rested.

Lassana Diarra is likely to miss out again and will join John Utaka on the sidelines, which means Arnold Mvuemba may start his second consecutive game too.

If Newcastle are going to win then they're going to have to find a way past David James who has deservedly been nominated for the PFA Player Of The Season award. Obviously Cristiano Ronaldo will win it but it's great to see a Pompey player make the list.

Jamo will be up against a potent front three of Michael Owen, Obafemi Martins and Mark Viduka tomorrow and that trio is capable of scoring goals for fun so I can't see us keeping a clean sheet. On the other hand, Newcastle can't defend and I can see us netting at least once too, so there could be a cracker in store!

The Geordies are talking about revenge after the battering they took from us at St. James' Park earlier in the season but I'm quietly confident we can do the double over them and hopefully close in on Everton.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Pompey

GK: David JAMES

RB: Glen JOHNSON
CB: Sol CAMPBELL
CB: Sylvain DISTIN
LB: Hermann HREIDARSSON

RM: Arnold MVUEMBA
CM: Papa BOUBA DIOP
CM: Sulley MUNTARI
LM: Niko KRANJCAR

CF: David NUGENT
CF: Jermain DEFOE

Bench: Jamie ASHDOWN, LAUREN, Pedro MENDES, Sean DAVIS, KANU

Newcastle

GK: Shay GIVEN

RB: Habib BEYE
CB: Steven TAYLOR
CB: Abdoulaye FAYE
LB: Jose ENRIQUE

CM: GEREMI
CM: Nicky BUTT
CM: Joey BARTON

CF: Obafemi MARTINS
CF: Mark VIDUKA
CF: Michael OWEN

Bench: Steve HARPER, David EDGAR, Charles N'ZOGBIA, Damien DUFF, Alan SMITH

Last Time: Pompey 2 Newcastle United 1

Benjani turned the Newcastle defence in the box and opened the scoring early on after the visitors missed a great opportunity to take the lead. Matthew Taylor hit a thunderbolt in the second half to double our lead and although Emre pulled one back from the spot, Pompey never looked like losing this one.

Pundit Watch

Lawro: Draw (1-1)
Sky Sports: Home Win
Soccernet: Home Win

My Prediction: Home Win (3-2)

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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