Portsmouth vs Mansfield Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 11 November 2016

Pompey take on mid-table Mansfield at Fratton Park tomorrow looking for a win to erase the memories of the previous defeats on home turf this season.

Team News

Michael Doyle is available again after serving his suspension and will return to the first team but Amine Linganzi serves the second of his three-match-ban having been allowed to play in the Checkatrade Trophy win over Bristol Rovers on Tuesday.

Stags midfielder George Taft is out with a hamstring but otherwise Mansfield are at full strength for tomorrow's match.

The Match

Now that Pompey are out of all cup competitions this season, they can fully concentrate on putting together a run of results that will sustain a challenge for automatic promotion. That means only a win against mediocre Mansfield will be acceptabe tomorrow, although the Stags have only lost to Plymouth on the road this season.

You would have to wonder what the mentality of the players will be going into this game given that Pompey haven't won a meaningful match on home turf since the 5-1 rout of Barnet and that was all the way back on September 24th.

There's also the fact that Mansfield have earned a draw in every League Two game they've played at Fratton Park and are difficult to break down. If Paul Cook's men cannot score an early goal, it'll quickly turn into a frustrating afternoon and given how the fans have been recently, youd have to wonder how quickly it'll be before they turn against their team.

Still, if there is one positive to take into this match is that Pompey have managed to keep clean sheets against those teams that have little attacking threat and Mansfield certainly fit into that category. If Matt Green is kept quiet then David Forde's chances of keeping a clean sheet increase drastically.

But winning the game means Pompey have to find the net from somewhere and Gary Roberts hasn't produced in recent matches prompting some fans calling for him to be dropped. Cook doesn't have the balls to do it, however, so expect him to start in midfield along with Carl Baker and Kyle Bennett.

As mentioned before, victory is the only acceptable result tomorrow and three points could see Portsmouth end the day in third place if Doncaster lose and Luton fail to win.

That would certainly silence the growing number of doubters as the difficult winter period of the season appears on the horizon.

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: Gary ROBERTS

AM: Carl BAKER

LM: Kyle BENNETT

CF: Conor CHAPLIN

Mansfield

GK: Scott SHEARER

RB: Rhys BENNETT

CB: Krystian PEARCE

CB: Kyle HOWKINS

LB: Malvind BENNING

DM: Lee COLLINS

DM: Jamie McGUIRE

RM: Mitch ROSE

AM: Chris CLEMENTS

LM: Danny ROSE

CF: Matt GREEN

Last Time: Portsmouth 0 Mansfield Town 0 (League Two - 24/10/2015)

Neither team looked a threat in an extremely dull game which ended in a boring stalemate.

My Prediction

Previous performances at home mean it's difficult for me to predict a win against a side that have claimed a draw on their previous three visits to Fratton Park and have drawn the majority of their matches on the road.

Portsmouth 1 Mansfield Town 1

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Sat 18th November 15:00

Portsmouth 1 - 0 Southend United

Last game - Match Centre


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