Portsmouth vs Mansfield Preview

Pompey take on Mansfield looking for a vital win to take them away from the bottom of League Two.

Team News

Jake Jervis received his international clearance today and is likely to go straight into the starting eleven tomorrow. Wes Fogden is also set to make his Pompey debut having signed during the week whilst Andy Barcham and Ricky Holmes may also return.

Mansfield midfielder Jamie McGuire may make his first appearance since December 29th having recovered from a groin injury whilst Martin Riley returns from a leg injury. However, top scorer Sam Clucas and Ben Hutchinson will be miss out.

The Match

Results went against Pompey last weekend and the club now finds itself just a point above the relegation zone going into this game. A win over the Stags would see Richie Barker's men leap them in the table and now could be a good time to play them.

Mansfield fans are worried about off-field problems with former directors taking legal action over current owner John Radford who is reported to owe the pair just under £1,000,000 which is adding to a rapidly growing debt.

Mansfield are also without Sam Clucas who has been one of their standout players this season, having scored eleven goals and also Ben Hutchinson who scored a screamer against Pompey in the reverse fixture back in August.

Meanwhile, Jervis should replace Ryan Taylor who didn't have the best debut and fans will be looking forward to seeing what Fogden brings to the team.

It will be interesting to see how Barker approaches this game because although the result at Oxford was a good one, there is no way the Pompey fans will accept their team sitting back and settling for a clean sheet without taking a meaningful shot on goal.

Whilst Pompey have looked far better at the back the goals have dried up and so hopefully Jervis can return to the side with a bang and if Holmes could return in favour of Jed Wallace who is playing like someone who knows he is leaving, then that would also be a bonus.

It should be a tight affair and much will depend on how Pompey's improved defence deals with Mansfield's long ball tactics which worked so effectively at Field Mill but there has to be some attacking intent from Pompey so it's about time someone stepped up to the plate.

Defeat is simply unthinkable at this stage of the season.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Pompey

GK: Trevor CARSON

RB: Daniel ALFEI

CB: Sonny BRADLEY

CB: Joe DEVERA

LB: Marcos PAINTER

CM: Nicky SHOREY

CM: Simon FERRY

CM: Wes FOGDEN

RWF: Patrick AGYEMANG

LWF: Jed WALLACE

CF: Jake JERVIS

Mansfield

GK: Alan MARRIOTT

RB: Ritchie SUTTON

CB: John DEMPSTER

CB: Martin RILEY

LB: Ryan TAFAZOLLI

RM: Chris CLEMENTS

CM: Lee STEVENSON

CM: Jamie McGUIRE

LM: James JENNINGS

CF: Matt RHEAD

CF: Ollie PALMER

Last Time: Portsmouth 2 Mansfield Town 2 (Division Three - 18/01/1977)

Pompey's match with the Stags tomorrow will be exactly 37 years after the only other time the two teams have played against each other at Fratton Park, with Dave Kemp scoring both goals for a Portsmouth side managed by Ian St. John.

My Prediction

Whilst it's imperative that Pompey do not lose this match, they also have to win some games to stay in the division and so long as the defence stay as strong as they have been recently then the new additions should hopefully swing a tense game in our favour.

Portsmouth 1 Mansfield Town 0