Portsmouth vs Burnley Preview
By Jim Bonner
Updated Friday, 30th March 2012
The "great escape" continues...
Pompey take on Burnley tomorrow in another "must win" game in the fight for Championship survival.
Michael Appleton is likely to name an unchanged side from the 2-0 win over Hull though Kelvin Etuhu and Marko Futacs will again be pushing to start.
Eddie Howe may be without star striker Jay Rodriguez who is rated doubtful with a hip injury but he has no other concerns.
Pompey fans may well be planning a takeover of the club, as Peter Storrie may well be doing the same but for now the focus here will be on tomorrow's important match.
The team will be on a high following arguably the best performance of the season against Hull on Tuesday night. Couple that with the 4-1 hammering of Birmingham in the previous home game along with Burnley's form and you can see why everyone is so optimistic.
The Clarets are winless in seven games, concede goals for fun and their season has dissolved into nothing having looked so promising six weeks ago.
That may make them dangerous opposition as they can play with little pressure and plenty of freedom but at the same time they will probably lack the desire and energy that our lads will have, knowing that Pompey desperately need to win this game.
The common belief is that they will. The team is settled, playing some great attacking football on their own turf and are sound at the back. The only way Pompey will fail to win this game is if nerves get the better of them and/or profligacy hits the squad.
What a feelng it would be going to our neighbours down the road next week on the back of back-to-back victories.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Jamie ASHDOWN
RB: Tal BEN-HAIM
CB: Greg HALFORD
CB: Jason PEARCE
LB: Karim REKIK
RM: Scott ALLAN
CM: George THORNE
CM: David NORRIS
LM: Joel WARD
CF: Luke VARNEY
CF: Chris MAGUIRE
GK: Lee GRANT
RB: Kieran TRIPPIER
CB: Michael DUFF
CB: David EDGAR
LB: Ben MEE
RM: Dean MARNEY
CM: Marvin BARTLEY
CM: Chris McCANN
LM: Ross WALLACE
CF: Martin PATERSON
CF: Danny INGS
Last Time: Portsmouth 1 Burnley 2 (Championship - 25/01/2011)
Jay Rodriguez gave Burnley the lead after tapping in a cross but Pompey responded quickly after Kanu sent John Utaka through on goal, and the Nigerian made no mistake in equalising.
However, a dire game ended in defeat thanks to Dean Marney's overhead kick as Eddie Howe got his first win as Burnley boss at the expense of his club's former manager.
Despite Burnley's poor run they still know how to find the net and I think this game will be more difficult than some fans think. Still, given Pompey's recent performances at home and the importance of this game I think it will be another win for Appy's men.
Portsmouth 2 Burnley 1
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