Portsmouth vs Bradford Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 27 October 2017

Pompey take on Bradford City at Fratton Park tomorrow for the first time since 2002.

Team News

Luke McGee is available despite an injury scare during the week and Brett Pitman is likely to return to the starting XI after making the bench at Blackburn last week. Damien McCrory and Adam May aren't available despite returning to training.

The visitors will be depleted for their trip down south as defenders Nathaniel Knight-Percival and Adam Chicksen are unavailable through suspension and injury respectively whilst Tony McMahon and Dominic Poleon are doubtful due to hamstring injuries.

The Match

Pompey fans will be relieved that their team are playing on home turf after the two previous matches on the road yielded a return of no points, five goals conceded and just the one scored, and even that was a gift.

Inconsistency continues to haunt Kenny Jackett's men and whilst his team continue to get beaten by any half-decent side at this level away from home, he needs to ensure enough points are taken at Fratton Park to have a comfortable campaign back in League One.

Bradford are tomorrow's opponents and they will not be an easy team to beat. They play expansive football and aren't afraid to have a go at teams on their own patch and that's why their way form has been impressive so far this season even if they have only taken one point from the last nine available.

Some idiotic fans have called for the manager's head already but given his resources and the injuries his squad has suffered, he isn't doing a bad job so far. Having said that, losing a third straight match will put him under a bit of pressure with a busy winter schedule around the corner.

As for the team Jackett selects, expect Pitman to replace Bennett in the number ten role just behind Ollie Hawkins. Fans have been clamouring to see Danny Rose and Kal Naismith be given a chance after their key roles in last season's title win but both seem to be peripheral in the eyes of the manager.

Rose certainly deserves a chance given that Ben Close seems to have gone off the boil recently. Dion Donahue can also count himself lucky that the main competitors for his position are injured as he has hardly covered himself in glory in the previous two matches. Mind you, if Brandan Haunstrup can't get into the side with the left back situation in its current state then he may as well give up on playing for Portsmouth.

Tomorrow's match should be an entertaining affair as both sides have some quality attacking players and questionable defensive organisation. Let's just hope we score more than they do.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Pompey

GK: Luke McGEE

RB: Nathan THOMPSON

CB: Christian BURGESS

CB: Matt CLARKE

LB: Dion DONAHUE

DM: Stuart O'KEEFE

DM: Ben CLOSE

RM: Gareth EVANS

AM: Brett PITMAN

LM: Matty KENNEDY

CF: Ollie HAWKINS

Bradford

GK: Colin DOYLE

RB: Tony McMAHON

CB: Adam THOMPSON

CB: Matt KILGALLON

LB: Tom FIELD

CM: Romain VINCELOT

CM: Jake REEVES

CM: Nicky LAW

RWF: Alex GILLIEAD

LWF: Dominic POLEON

CF: Charlie WYKE

Last Time: Portsmouth 3 Bradford City 0 (Division One - 22/09/2002)

Harry Redknapp's side cruised to victory thanks to a goal from Vincent Pericard and a brace for Nigel Quashie on a truly bad day for the Bantams.

My Prediction

Pompey are more difficult to predict than ever this season. I'll agree with the Bradford fan I interviewed and go for a high scoring draw.

Portsmouth 2 Bradford City 2

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