Portsmouth vs Fulham Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 25 October 2008
Pompey will want to bounce back from the defeat in Braga with a victory over struggling Fulham tomorrow.

Roy Hodgson's men look like they are going to find it tough in the Premier League after completing their great escape at Fratton Park last May but Pompey fans will be expecting a home win this time.

Harry Redknapp's squad is really down to the bare bones as the two Glen's (Johnson and Little) were injured in Portugal and will miss the game. Niko Kranjcar is still out whilst there is a doubt over Richard Hughes' availability.

Younes Kaboul is expected to miss out whilst David Nugent is a long term absentee. Former Cottager Sean Davis is suspended after his dismissal at Villa Park last week but another former Fulham player in Papa Bouba Diop will play.

Thankfully, it looks like Lassana Diarra has recovered from a knee injury in time to take his place in the centre of midfield because we really missed him on Thursday.

I expect Harry will play Traore and Belhadj down the left but with Little out this is a really big game for John Utaka who simply must show everyone that he is capable of playing for Pompey. He has the talent but the application just isn't there....

Roy Hodgson is missing former Pompey striker Diomansy Kamara but otherwise will be able his strongest eleven where Andy Johnson and Jimmy Bullard are the main men to cause problems to the Pompey defence. Danny Murphy has a habit of scoring against Pompey down the years so he is the one we should be most wary of.

Even though we have many players missing and the visitors will be at full strength, the majority of Pompey fans will turn up expecting a win. I hope this doesn't come to bite us on the arse as I'm sure Fulham will work hard and try to keep the ball and tire our players out after the Braga game.

We've got a good home record though and with the players we have (well, the ones that are fit anyway) we should be able to defeat a team tipped for relegation (again) this season.

Remember that kick-off is at 5pm tomorrow because of the Great South Run. Hopefully we will be celebrating a Great South Victory tomorrow and get over the European hangover.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Pompey

GK: David JAMES

RB: Noe PAMAROT
CB: Sol CAMPBELL
CB: Sylvain DISTIN
LB: Nadir BELHADJ

RM: John UTAKA
CM: Papa BOUBA DIOP
CM: Lassana DIARRA
LM: Armand TRAORE

CF: Jermain DEFOE
CF: Peter CROUCH

Fulham

GK: Mark SCHWARZER

RB: John PAINTSIL
CB: Aaron HUGHES
CB: Brede HANGELAND
LB: Paul KONCHESKY

RM: Simon DAVIES
CM: Jimmy BULLARD
CM: Danny MURPHY
LM: Zoltan GERA

CF: Bobby ZAMORA
CF: Andrew JOHNSON

Last Time: Pompey 0 Fulham 1

Fulham completed the unlikeliest of escapes from relegation thanks to a Danny Murphy header from a Jimmy Bullard free kick as the Pompey players clearly had their minds on the FA Cup Final.

Pundit Watch

Lawro: Home Win (2-1)
Sky Sports: Home Win (2-1)
Soccernet: Home Win

My Prediction: If we are to challenge for a UEFA Cup spot this season then we have to beat teams like Fulham at home. We should have too much quality for the Cottagers despite our fatigue and lack of squad numbers but if we fail to win then expect the boos to ring out.

Pompey 2 Fulham 0

Portsmouth Match Reports


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