Portsmouth vs Swansea Preview
Ricardo Rocha will miss the rest of the season following his red card at Cardiff but Hayden Mullins returns after his one-match ban.
David Cotterill is ineligible to play against his parent club which means Ibrahima Sonko could return to the squad since February 19th, and may even start as Hermann Hreidarsson is doubtful with a knee injury.
With little to play for, there is a chance that Pompey may well come up short against the opposition in their final games of the season. Swansea, Burnley and Norwich all have promotion aspects whilst there may be a chance that Scunthorpe could avoid relegation on the final day of the season.
With that in mind, I hope Steve Cotterill has told his players to give us, the paying fans, a good send off after what has been a tough season both on and off the pitch.
As for the match in prospect, the Swans arrive at Fratton Park having lost their last four away matches. Pompey have failed to win their last three home games so this one looks like a draw but given what we've seen recently if there is going to be a winner it's more likely to be Swansea.
I do worry what Abertawe's front three in Dyer, Sinclair and Borini will do to a makeshift defence missing its best defender but apparently they only seem to produce the goods at the Liberty Stadium. I still wouldn't bet against Nathan "Scummer" Dyer finding the back of the net, though.
We need to see more from the likes of Liam Lawrence and David Nugent who have been quiet recently, especially the former who seems to be a shadow of the player who was so influential at the start of the season. Dave Kitson also needs to show us why Pompey were keen to break their wage budget to sign him, because that decision hasn't been justified.
However it is all of the Pompey players, whether they're going to be here next season or not, who owe it to the people who would have paid good money to watch them tomorrow to play some good football and give 100% to send the fans home on a high.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Jamie ASHDOWN
RB: Ritchie DE LAET
CB: Ibrahima SONKO
CB: Greg HALFORD
LB: Carl DICKINSON
DM: Hayden MULLINS
DM: Jonathan HOGG
RM: Liam LAWRENCE
CM: Joel WARD
LM: David NUGENT
CF: Dave KITSON
GK: Dorus DE VRIES
RB: Neil TAYLOR
CB: Ashley WILLIAMS
CB: Garry MONK
LB: Angel RANGEL
CM: Mark GOWER
CM: Darren PRATLEY
CM: Leon BRITTON
RWF: Nathan DYER
LWF: Scott SINCLAIR
CF: Fabio BORINI
Last Time: Portsmouth 0 Swansea City 2 (FA Cup Fourth Round - 24/01/2009)
The FA Cup holders were dumped out of the cup by lower league opposition as ex-Scummer Nathan Dyer taunted the home fans after slotting in an opener and then Jason Scotland scored a penalty at the end of the first half to double the lead.
Tony Adams' men pushed forward in the second half but Dimi Konstantopoulos produced some fine saves to keep a clean sheet as Roberto Martinez's men took a huge scalp at the time.
Swansea are performing poorly away from home but Pompey have been dire whether at Fratton Park or not. Hopefully the players will produce something and give the fans something to cheer about and I think this will be a draw.
Portsmouth 1 Swansea City 1
Final Season Thoughts
I shan't be at the match tomorrow as I'm on holiday for the rest of the season but I'd like to commend the staff for doing a good job in ensuring the club hasn't sank and that we can look forward to next season in the Championship.
Looking back, you'd have to say that this has been a successful campaign as we began the season as relegation favourites and have flirted with the play-offs with a wafer thin squad and no transfer budget.
There will be a slight disappointment from some who will see that Cotterill hasn't got the best out of one of the best first XI's in the Championship but then he hasn't always been able to pick his strongest side due to injuries and more specifically, suspensions.
I'll be back at the end of the season to assess how Pompey end the season and what the future holds. Who knows? Maybe when I return the club might have been taken over and some players will already have agreed to be signed next season. Well.... a man can dream, can't he?
Hopefully you'll all enjoy the end of the season and as always, thanks for reading!
Play Up Pompey!