Portsmouth vs Manchester United Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 28 November 2009
Pompey welcome Champions Manchester United to Fratton Park hoping to use past glories as inspiration to get a result in an extremely tough match tomorrow.

Team News

Avram Grant's first decision as Pompey manager will be to decide whether Jamie Ashdown continues in goal or if the recalled Asmir Begovic will get his chance to impress.

It will be difficult to judge Grant's team selection as he hasn't given any indication as to which players he likes and which he doesn't. Aruna Dindane is expected to play but it's unknown who, if anyone, will play alongside him.

Sir Alex Ferguson will watch this game from the stands with some defensive worries as Rio Ferdinand and John O'Shea are definitely out and both Jonny Evans and Fabio are doubtful, though Dimitar Berbatov should start after recovering from his knee injury.

The Match

As he did with Chelsea, Avram Grant will begin his tenure as Pompey boss with a game against Manchester United. His side lost that encounter 2-0 so Pompey fans will be hopeful, but not expectant of a better result tomorrow.

If Pompey fans want to take some hope into this game then Grant's arrival may galvanise the team as most "new manager effects" do whilst United are short at the back and have only won twice in six attempts at Fratton Park, losing three times.

Fergie has suggested himself that Pompey are in a false position in the table and he expects a tough game. However, he can count on experience such as Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs to see them through tough games like and with the amount of attacking talent they have in the side, you can simply forget about Pompey claiming a clean sheet tomorrow.

One particular player I'm worried about is Wayne Rooney. He is currently struggling for a goal, which is going to make him more determined and he has had a habit of bailing out United when playing poorly against Pompey in the past, so our defence need to stay extra alert to deal with him.

I'm not expecting a result tomorrow but I'm hoping that Grant's arrival will at least inspire the team to a decent performance that shows some promise and gives Pompey fans some hope going into a far more important game with Burnley next weekend.

You never know though, Pompey have a habit of springing surprises (especially this season!) so I go to Fratton Park with some hope tomorrow.

Play Up Pompey!

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Pompey

GK: Asmir BEGOVIC

RB: Tal BEN-HAIM
CB: Younes KABOUL
CB: Marc WILSON
LB: Hermann HREIDARSSON

RM: Jamie O'HARA
CM: Michael BROWN
CM: Kevin-Prince BOATENG
LM: Nadir BELHADJ

CF: Frederic PIQUIONNE
CF: Aruna DINDANE

Manchester United

GK: Edwin VAN DER SAR

RB: Wes BROWN
CB: Jonny EVANS
CB: Nemanja VIDIC
LB: Patrice EVRA

RM: Antonio VALENCIA
CM: Paul SCHOLES
CM: Darren FLETCHER
LM: NANI

CF: Wayne ROONEY
CF: Dimitar BERBATOV

Last Time: Portsmouth 0 Manchester United 1

Darren Fletcher's deflected strike was enough to see off Pompey in the opening home game of last season as United recorded just their second Premier League win at Fratton Park.

Pundit Watch

Lawro: Away Win (0-2)
Sky Sports: Away Win (0-2)

My Predicition: We'll probably get beaten here as United have got too much quality but I think it won't be easy and we'll put up a fight.

Portsmouth 1 Manchester United 2

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Sat 11th November 15:00

Blackpool 2 - 3 Portsmouth

Last game - Match Centre


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