Portsmouth vs Rotherham Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 03 September 2017

Pompey take on Rotherham United in front of the Sky Sports cameras looking for their first win of the season since the opening day.

Team News

Damien McCrory, Stuart O'Keefe and Matty Kennedy are all set to make their Portsmouth debuts after signing on transfer deadline day with Ollie Hawkins likely to be on the bench. Gareth Evans is suspended after being sent off at Wigan and could be replaced by the fit-again Nathan Thompson.

Former Pompey loanee Joe Mattock is an injury doubt for Rotherham as is Lee Frecklington whilst Jamie Proctor, once a Portsmouth transfer target, is out for the season. Ryan Williams is set to play against his former club.

The Match

It's understandable to see why Sky picked this game to be televise as it sees two managers up against their former club. Kenny Jackett was the Millers' manager for just 39 days before quitting and is guaranteed to receive some abuse from the visitors whilst Richie Barker is now assistant at Rotherham having arguably served as Pompey's worst manager of all time.

However, it's vitally important that Pompey start winning games now the squad has a more balanced feel to it following a frantic transfer deadline day. Whilst we should wait and see how the new players perform before passing judgement, they all look like they can offer something.

It's just a case of how Jackett decides how to use them. There have been rumours that Matt Clarke is fit enough to start and the manager will play a 3-5-2 wing back system but if not, expect the usual 4-2-3-1 only for the personnel to change.

It should be exciting to see if Kennedy can take on a man, if O'Keefe really does add extra bite to midfield alongside either Adam May or Danny Rose (more likely the former) and if McCrory is an improvement on Haunstrup.

Conor Chaplin finally got off the mark at Wigan last weekend and will be hoping for a start but as for who plays alongside Pitman in the attacking midfield role, the squad looks strong in that area that it's difficult to guess who will start.

As for Rotherham, after a disastrous campaign last season, they could well be in trouble again this season. They have only one league win to their name so far, albeit a 5-0 demolition of Southend, but their away record is dreadful and apparently they are even worse than Pompey when it comes to live performances on TV.

Therefore, failure to win this game for Pompey will see the moaners create a bigger din than they did when Oxford delivered the only league defeat of the season for the Blues so far this season.

And if there's one thing we don't want to suffer so early into the season, it's bigger dins.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Pompey

GK: Luke McGEE

RB: Nathan THOMPSON

CB: Christian BURGESS

CB: Jack WHATMOUGH

LB: Damien McCRORY

DM: Adam MAY

DM: Stuart O'KEEFE

RM: Kyle BENNETT

AM: Brett PITMAN

LM: Matty KENNEDY

CF: Conor CHAPLIN

Rotherham

GK: Richard O'DONNELL

RB: Shaun CUMMINGS

CB: Semi AJAYI

CB: Michael IHIEKWE

LB: Joe MATTOCK

RM: Ryan WILLIAMS

CM: Richie TOWELL

CM: Darren POTTER

LM: Joe NEWELL

AM: David BALL

CF: Keiffer MOORE

Last Time: Portsmouth 3 Rotherham United 2 (Division One - 27/04/2003)

On a night nobody will ever forget, Paul Merson gave Pompey the lead from the penalty spot only for Guy Branston to equalise. Svetoslav Todorov restored the lead only for Chris Swailes to equalise again for the Millers but Todorov tapped in the decisive goal from close range right before half-time.

There were no goals after the break and the final whistle blew to confirm that Pompey were promoted to the Premier League as Division One champions.

My Prediction

I fancy us to win for no real reason other than the players coming in will impress on their debuts and Rotherham aren't very good away from home.

Portsmouth 2 Rotherham United 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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