Pompey vs Plymouth Preview

Paul Sturrock will return to Fratton for the first time since his Southampton side were beaten 1-0 back in 2004 and this time he will hope his Plymouth Argyle side fare better.

I was happy with this draw when it was made, as we have been knocked out of the cup at this stage in the last three years by Man United, Liverpool and the Scummers.

This is a tie we should win now that the home hoodoo was buried during a good performance against Derby and the fact that Plymouth are stuttering and feeling the effects of losing their best players in January - namely Sylvain Ebanks-Blake who moved to Wolves.

If Milan Baros signs and receives his international clearance today then it's likely he will start tomorrow but if not then Benjani will start alongside "cup talisman" David Nugent.

Sol Campbell and Sean Davis are fit again and whilst I expect the former to start, the latter will probably have to settle for the bench after the excellent performances of Lassana Diarra and Pedro Mendes last week. Lucien Aubey could also make his debut for the club.

Two of Plymouth's new signings, Jamie Mackie and Steve MacClean are cup-tied and so can't play which means Jermaine Easter and Rory Fallon are likely to start up front for the Pilgrims. Other recognisable players in Plymouth's lineup who could cause us problems are Peter Halmosi, David Norris and ex-Saint Yoann Folly.

Even so, our first team should be too strong for Argyle and there can be no excuses for not winning tomorrow. Sturrock couldn't defeat Hampshire's #3 side last Saturday and so by that logic we should be able to beat them.

However, the Plymouth fans are bound to get behind their team as they have the whole Milton End to themselves. I hope we can sell out the majority of the other three stands as the atmosphere of the traditional Docklands Derby could be excellent.

I fancy us for a cup run this season, so we'd better not blow it tomorrow.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Pompey

GK: David JAMES

RB: Glen JOHNSON
CB: Sol CAMPBELL
CB: Sylvain DISTIN
LB: Lucien AUBEY

RM: LAUREN
CM: Lassana DIARRA
CM: Pedro MENDES
LM: Niko KRANJCAR

CF: BENJANI
CF: David NUGENT

Bench: Asmir BEGOVIC, Hermann HREIDARSSON, Sean DAVIS, Arnold MVUEMBA, Franck SONGO'O

Plymouth

GK: Romain LARRIEU

RB: Paul CONNOLY
CB: Marcel SEIP
CB: Krisztian TIMAR
LB: David SAWYER

RM: David NORRIS
CM: Yoann FOLLY
CM: Lilian NALIS
LM: Peter HALMOSI

CF: Rory FALLON
CF: Jermaine EASTER

Bench: Luke MCCORMICK, Chris CLARK, Lee HODGES, Luke SUMMERFIELD, Lukas JUTKIEWICZ

Pundit Watch

Lawro: Home Win (2-0)
Sky Sports: Home Win (2-0)

My Prediction: Home Win (1-0)