Portsmouth vs Coventry Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 01 January 2010
Pompey take on Coventry in what promises to be one of the most uninspiring FA Cup ties in recent history.

Team News

Jamie O'Hara cannot participate in this game as Tottenham don't want him cup-tied in case he returns to White Hart Lane after his loan spell expires on the 15th of January.

Avram Grant is without African quartet Belhadj, Yebda, Kanu and Dindane but is likely to field a weakened side as the competition that Pompey won two seasons ago is no longer a priority.

Coventry manager Chris Coleman is without left back Patrick van Aanholt whose loan deal from Chelsea has expired although another Stamford Bridge loanee in Jack Cork might play.

Two more loanees in Leon Barnett and Gary Madine can't play because of terms of their loan agreements with their parent clubs. Martin Cranie should play against his former club.

The Match

I'm sorry to say that I don't really care about this match, so much so that I haven't even bought my ticket yet because I'm finding it hard to justify forking out £25 for what is a meaningless game in the context of Pompey's nightmare season.

It's a sad state of affairs that I, and many other Pompey fans couldn't care less about the competition that gave the majority of us the best moment in our football supporting lives when Sol went up to lift the FA Cup at Wembley in May 2008.

This game may give an indication of what it will be like next season if (or when) these two sides meet in the Championship next season. I expect the likes of Wilson, Hughes and Mullins will play and they'll be the most likely names to stay at the club if Pompey were relegated in May. Maybe Mike Williamson will get a game for once!

Our opposition cannot be taken too lightly, however, as before their defeat to Nottingham Forest the Sky Blues had won their three previous games which had eased fears of relegation for the time being.

So an upset could be on the cards, especially as Steve Finnan has admitted that not being paid on time yet again has affected the players' morale whilst Lens are now appealing to FIFA and UEFA to kick Pompey out of the Premier League for failure to pay fees for Belhadj and Dindane.

It's clear to see that with everything going on backstage, nobody is going to be too interested in the panto that takes place at Fratton Park tomorrow.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Pompey

GK: Asmir BEGOVIC

RB: Steve FINNAN
CB: Marc WILSON
CB: Mike WILLIAMSON
LB: Hermann HREIDARSSON

RM: Anthony VANDEN BORRE
CM: Hayden MULLINS
CM: Richard HUGHES
LM: Tommy SMITH

CF: Frederic PIQUIONNE
CF: John UTAKA

Coventry

GK: Kieren WESTWOOD

RB: Martin CRANIE
CB: Richard WOOD
CB: Elliot WARD
LB: Stephen WRIGHT

RM: Michael McINDOE
CM: Aron GUNNARSSON
CM: David BELL
LM: Jack CORK

CF: Leon BEST
CF: Clinton MORRISON

My Prediction: I can see a draw here. Pompey are struggling and un-motivated whilst Coventry are improving and have some firepower in their squad. Mark Lawrenson thinks we'll win, but this one is going to a replay.

Portsmouth 1 Coventry City 1

Portsmouth Match Reports


Trending on the boards