Portsmouth vs Blackpool Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 13 February 2017

Pompey will be looking to exert more pressure on the teams above them with a win over Blackpool at Fratton Park tomorrow night.

Team News

Paul Cook is likely to start with the same eleven that began Saturday's match against Accrington although Kal Naismith, Conor Chaplin and Carl Baker could be considered if the manager wants to change things up.

Blackpool defender Andy Taylor and midfielder Neil Danns were injured in the Tangerines' 4-1 win at Carlisle and are therefore rated as doubtful for tomorrow's match.

The Match

Blackpool may be a mid-table side in League Two but they showed what they were capable of when they demolished the Cumbrians on Saturday. They will certainly be a tougher test than Stanley and therefore Pompey must up their game tomorrow if they're going to win.

Their trio of attacking players in Kyle Vassell, Mark Cullen and Jamille Matt will cause problems for even the best defence in the division, which currently belongs to Portsmouth despite some people's cries of how poor they've been at times this season.

Because the visitors are likely to attack more than Accrington, that could well play into Pompey's hands and the atmosphere should be boosted due to this being an evening match where the crowd tend to be louder, although that also means the boo boys are going to be heard much clearer if things don't go their way.

However, the gut feeling is that the crowd will be willing to be more patient tomorrow than they were on Saturday due to the opposition having some stature about them, meaning that they won't be expected to roll over like Accrington were once they conceded in the first minute.

Moaning will only cause the Pompey players to misplace passes and replicate the worst of last weekend's showing so it would be great to see Fratton Park back to how it can be; inspiring for the men in blue and intimidating for the opposition - although that's probably asking too much these days.

In terms of team selection, Cook usually doesn't change a winning team but with the amount of games piling up this month, he may decide to give Gary Roberts and Jamal Lowe a breather with Kal Naismith and Carl Baker replacing them.

As said many, many times before this season, the quality has always been in this squad to perform but the consistency has never been there. If the fans get behind the team then that will only help them to another win which could (once again) see Pompey within touching distance of automatic promotion.

In tomorrow's oher key fixtures, Carlisle's wobble may well continue as they take on leaders Doncaster, Wycombe go to Crewe, Mansfield host Accrington, Luton most likely won't slip up at home to Hartlepool and Exeter visit beleagured Notts County.

Therefore, only a win will do on Valentine's Day if Pompey are to keep pace at the top.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Pompey

GK: David FORDE

RB: Gareth EVANS

CB: Christian BURGESS

CB: Matt CLARKE

LB: Enda STEVENS

DM: Michael DOYLE

DM: Amine LINGANZI

RM: Jamal LOWE

AM: Gary ROBERTS

LM: Kyle BENNETT

CF: Eoin DOYLE

Blackpool

GK: Sam SLOCOMBE

RB: Kelvin MELLOR

CB: Tom ALDRED

CB: Clark ROBERTSON

LB: Will AIMSON

RM: Jordan FLORES

CM: Colin DANIEL

CM: Jack PAYNE

LM: Brad POTTS

CF: Kyle VASSELL

CF: Nathan DELFEUNSO

Last Time: Portsmouth 1 Blackpool 0 (Championship - 24/11/2011)

Erik Huseklepp scored a spectacular volleyed winner in the dying seconds of this match to give Steve Cotterill's men a much needed win.

My Prediction

This will be a tough game but it's time to be positive. Eoin has to get on the scoresheet eventually, doesn't he!?

Portsmouth 2 Blackpool 1

Portsmouth Match Reports


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