Portsmouth vs Leeds Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 21 January 2011
Portsmouth take on Leeds at Fratton Park tomorrow looking to breathe some new life into a dying season.

Team News

Aaron Mokoena is banned for two games after picking up his tenth yellow card of the season at Forest and Dave Kitson serves the second match of his three-game suspension. Greg Halford is available after serving his ban.

John Utaka is an injury doubt after coming off on Saturday with a hamstring problem but Ricardo Rocha may return to the side having trained all week.

Own goal hero Andy O'Brien misses the return to his former club with a hamstring strain whilst Luciano Becchio is rated doubtful because of a back injury.

The Match

After suffering four straight defeats, Pompey face the tough task of getting a result against a resurgent Leeds United who are now targeting automatic promotion at the end of the season.

Leeds are the joint-top scorers in the division and they face a Pompey side that has only kept three clean sheets all season and has one of the worst defensive records in the league, so you think the signs would be ominous.

However, despite the recent poor run of results it should be said that Pompey shouldn't have lost to Forest and will also still be wondering how we didn't get anything against Hull either.

The last couple of performances haven't been bad but mistakes at the back have been punished and chances at the other end of the pitch haven't been taken.

Pompey also seem to hold a hoodoo sign over Leeds, the previous month's last-gasp 3-3 draw extended an unbeaten run against the Yorkshire side to seven games, a run that stretches back over 20 years.

Pompey's last league encounter with Leeds resulted in a 6-1 thrashing of Peter Reid's men. Reid was then sacked as a decline that was worse than our own current slide down the league began and it has taken them years to recover.

I don't expect another thrashing but I do expect goals aplenty simply because both sides score many but also concede many. Perhaps it will be another thrilling 3-3 draw?

Expect plenty of cards in this game too as Leeds have the worst disciplinary record in the Championship and we all know how dirty Pompey have been under Steve Cotterill's leadership this season.

I'd take a point from this game to stop the rot right now as Portsmouth still have a couple of tricky fixtures to come in Burnley at home and QPR away. I'm slightly more confident of getting a result than in previous weeks too.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Pompey

GK: Jamie ASHDOWN

RB: Greg HALFORD
CB: Ricardo ROCHA
CB: Ibrahima SONKO
LB: Carl DICKINSON

RM: Liam LAWRENCE
CM: Hayden MULLINS
CM: Joel WARD
LM: Ritchie DE LAET

AM: KANU

CF: David NUGENT

Leeds

GK: Kasper SCHMEICHEL

RB: Paul CONNOLLY
CB: Leigh BROMBY
CB: Alex BRUCE
LB: George McCARTNEY

RM: Robert SNODGRASS
CM: Bradley JOHNSON
CM: Jonny HOWSON
LM: Sanchez WATT

CF: Max GRADEL
CF: Davide SOMMA

Last Time: Portsmouth 3 Leeds United 0 (League Cup Second Round - 28/08/2007)

Noe Pamarot opened the scoring in this one by deflecting a trademark Pedro Mendes rocket into the net just before half-time and he scored again late in the second half by heading in Gary O'Neil's corner.

David Nugent then scored his first goal for Pompey by sliding in John Utaka's cross to put the icing on the cake for the small amount of Pompey fans who attended the game.

My Prediction

I don't think Leeds will be too affected by their midweek defeat to Arsenal and will pose Pompey serious problems at the back, but I believe we can also attack their weakened defence and score a couple ourselves. It should be a great game!

Portsmouth 2 Leeds United 2

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