Portsmouth vs Scunthorpe Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 12 January 2018

Pompey take on fellow promotion chasers Scunthorpe United at Fratton Park tomorrow with their opponents holding a seven point lead over the hosts..

Team News

Kenny Jackett has a growing injury crisis mounting at Pompey with Nathan Thompson and Ben Close doubtful with ankle and quad injuries respectively. Stuart O'Keefe is no closer to a return thanks to a groin problem but Sylvain Deslandes and Conor Ronan are set to make their league debuts.

Graham Alexander could hand up to three new signings a debut at Fratton Park with midfielders Cameron McGeehan and Ryan Yates arriving on loan from Barnsley and Nottingham Forest whilst Ivan Toney has been borrowed from Newcastle.

The Match

How Kenny Jackett must be regretting playing a full strength side against Chelsea Reserves on Tuesday as his squad is now depleted ahead of a key game in the promotion race.

It may well be that Thompson and Close are fit enough to start but if not, the Pompey manager faces quite the condundrum as to how he is going to replace them.

Dion Donahue's versatility is sure to come in handy to fill one of those places but still leaves one position extremely exposed. Perhaps another youngster such as Matt Casey could be given his chance to step up and impress?

Two of Scunthorpe's signings would have caught the eye of any observant Pompey fan during the week. Ivan Toney has been playing for Wigan this season and has already scored against Pompey whilst Cameron McGeehan will have a serious point to prove after inciting the crowd after a leg breaking challenge whilst playing for Luton last year.

The visitors currently lie in fourth place in League One thanks to a solid defence and all-round work ethic. The key to winning this game will be controlling the midfield but that's going to be extremely difficult with so little experience in the centre of the park.

Still, it'll be interesting to see how the new arrivals from Wolves perform and they should be eager to impress whilst Brett Pitman got on the scoresheet on Tuesday and Ollie Hawkins has been in good form recently, so there is some hope that Pompey can win this one.

It almost feels like they have to win tomorrow to bring the gap back to Scunthorpe back to four points. A defeat surely ends any realistic hope of catching them and probably Bradford too as they host hapless Northampton.

Then there's also the matter of Rotherham, Charlton and Peterborough breathing down our necks. It's going to be an interesting month both on and off the pitch, that's for sure.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Pompey

GK: Luke McGEE

RB: Dion DONAHUE

CB: Christian BURGESS

CB: Matt CLARKE

LB: Sylvain DESLANDES

DM: Ben CLOSE

DM: Adam MAY

RM: Conor RONAN

AM: Brett PITMAN

LM: Jamal LOWE

CF: Ollie HAWKINS

Scunthorpe

GK: Matt GILKS

CB: Cameron BURGESS

CB: Charlie GOODE

CB: Murray WALLACE

RM: Duane HOLMES

CM: Josh MORRIS

CM: Funso OJO

CM: Hadeeb ADELAKUN

LM: Cameron McGEEHAN

CF: Kevin VAN VEEN

CF: Ivan TONEY

Last Time: Portsmouth 1 Scunthorpe United 2 (League Two - 23/11/2013)

Tom Craddock scored his one and only Pompey goal when he headed in Ricky Holmes' cross but two goals from David Syers turned the game on its head and condemned Guy Whittingham's men to a fourth consecutive defeat.

My Prediction

I have a bad feeling that our youthful midfield will be overrun, we will struggle to create chances against a solid Scunthorpe defence and they'll nick a winner. I hope I'm wrong.

Portsmouth 0 Scunthorpe United 1

Portsmouth Match Reports


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