Portsmouth vs Grimsby Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 13 March 2017

Pompey take on Grimsby under the lights of Fratton Park tomorrow looking to win their first home match in a month.

Team News

Paul Cook has no new injury problems ahead of the match but may look to freshen his team up.

Mariners manager Marcus Bignot has said he will rotate his squad for the trip down south which means Ben Davies could play a part against his former club.

The Match

Pompey may have won their last three matches on the road without conceding a goal but they haven't tasted victory at Fratton Park since the Valentine's Day victory over Blackpool.

The atmosphere was rocking that night and hopefully the fans will be in full voice again as, as cheesy as it sounds, they really do have their part to play tomorrow in spurring their team on.

If the supporters start to voice their frustrations then that's going to creep into the players' minds and mistakes may well be made as they were against Crewe last Saturday. Yet when the fans created some noise against the Tangerines last month it seemed to lift the players and give them an edge.

Grimsby will most likely come to Fratton and play football rather than try to negate Pompey's threat with stoic tactics. A draw is no good to them if they harbour any real aspirations of the play-offs so they should come and have a go.

That may well play into Pompey's hands as they showed how devastating they could be on the counter-attack on Saturday, whilst Eoin Doyle would have gained some much needed confidence following his performance at Colchester and should be backed to score again.

Paul Cook is likely to start with the same team that thrashed Colchester with the only possible change being Kal Naismith dropping to the bench simply because he was so exhausted, he didn't even have the energy to celebrate the fourth goal and went straight to the bench to come off!

Whoever is picked, the only real reason for Pompey failing to win this game will be complacency. Hopefully the players will have been reminded how many times they've been in such a strong position only to let it slip and the same mistake won't be repeated.

A win for Portsmouth could be massive in the context of the promotion race as second placed Plymouth and fourth placed Stevenage face tricky trips to Wycombe and Blackpool respectively whilst fifth and sixth placed teams Luton and Carlisle play each other.

But can Pompey finally take control of their own destiny and deliver when they're expected to?

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Pompey

GK: David FORDE

RB: Gareth EVANS

CB: Christian BURGESS

CB: Matt CLARKE

LB: Enda STEVENS

DM: Michael DOYLE

DM: Danny ROSE

RM: Kyle BENNETT

AM: Carl BAKER

LM: Kal NAISMITH

CF: Eoin DOYLE

Grimsby

GK: James McKEOWN

RB: Danny ANDREW

CB: Zak MILLS

CB: Shaun PEARSON

LB: Danny COLLINS

RM: Jamey OSBORNE

CM: Chris CLEMENTS

CM: Tom BOLARINWA

LM: Brandon COMLEY

CF: Calum DYSON

CF: Sam JONES

Last Time: Portsmouth 3 Grimsby Town 0 (Division One - 13/01/2003)

Yakubu scored just four minutes into his full debut for Harry Redknapp's table-toppers and the result was sealed in the second half when Simon Ford turned Matt Taylor's cross into his own net before Nigel Quashie struck a third late on to maintain Pompey's lead at the top of the league.

My Prediction

Nothing should be made of Grimsby's 3-0 win at the circus that is Leyton Orient and their form has been inconsistent otherwise. Pompey should be buoyed by their last two results and hopefully tomorrow night is the night they finally meet expectations.

Portsmouth 2 Grimsby Town 0

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