Portsmouth vs Tottenham Preview

The spotlight will undoubtedly be on Harry Redknapp as he brings Tottenham to Fratton Park tomorrow, but there are three extremely important points up for grabs if Pompey can beat 'onest 'Arry's men.

Team News

Michael Brown, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Younes Kaboul are all expected to start against their former club but Jamie O'Hara cannot play against his parent club under the terms of his loan deal so Aaron Mokoena should replace him.

David James is expected to be fit for the clash whilst Hassan Yebda should retain his place in the team after scoring the winner against Wolves last time out.

Jermain Defoe is expected to start against his former club and and endure the barrack of abuse he will receive from the beginning of the match. Niko Kranjcar should also start on the left but Peter Crouch will be left on the bench.

Wilson Palacios is expected to miss the game after he stayed in his home country as he was ordered to celebrate Honduras' qualification for the World Cup, so Tom Huddlestone should take his place.

The Match

Let's get the Redknapp talk out of the way first, shall we? I've heard his latest ego-swelling interviews with the press about how he claims to be the best manager in the history of Portsmouth FC and how much money he has made us out of his transfer deals.

Abusing him will only swell his ego more and I've heard better suggestions to let him know how we feel such as singing the names of past Pompey managers held in higher regard, such as Alan Ball, Bob Jackson and Jack Tinn.

Whatever happens, he is guaranteed his fair share of abuse as is Jermain Defoe, but fans should be wary that booing the man that didn't give a hoot about us once Redknapp left will simply spur him on and if he scores, he'll celebrate his goal like he has won the Champions League, World Cup and Grand National just like he did at White Hart Lane back in January.

Of course, I also expect Kranjcar and Crouch to receive their fair share of stick but the reception they'll get will not be quite as hostile as that reserved for Redknapp and Defoe.

As for the actual game itself it's going to be tough. Spurs have predictably made a strong start to the season under our former manager and have scored goals by the bucketload, as opposed to the four league goals we have mustered all season.

However, Tottenham have had problems at the back and have conceded plenty too so there is plenty of hope that we can create enough chances to win the game, especially with Gomes or Cudicini in goal who have been less than convincing, hence Redknapp's continuing pursuit of David James.

Of course, our leaky defence has to stop the likes of Defoe, Keane and Kranjcar at the other end of the pitch which sould make for an entertaining game in a couldron of noise that will hopefully inspire our players to victory and intimidate Tottenham's enough to throw them off their game.

The likes of Boateng and Kaboul will also have a point to prove, so here's hoping that the former player curse can work for us rather than against. We also have to hope that Avram Grant can help Paul Hart tactically so he can make the right decisions to win us the game when needed.

It's going to be one hell of an atmosphere tomorrow and I hope that both sets of fans will behave and keep the banter clean. We don't want a repeat of last year's incident regarding the Sol Campbell abuse and we certainly don't want to tarnish the name of Portsmouth Football Club.

So give Redknapp and co. the reception they deserve if you wish but do not take it over-the-top and most importantly, save your energy for supporting the men in the blue shirts tomorrow.

Let's get behind them, forget about Redknapp and try and spur Pompey to a priceless three points tomorrow because looking at the bigger picture, failure to win this game would heap massive pressure on us for the next game at Hull.

Play Up Pompey!

Predicted Starting Line-Ups




CM: Hassan YEBDA
CM: Michael BROWN
AM: Kevin-Prince BOATENG




CB: Ledley KING
CB: Sebastien BASSONG

CM: Jermaine JENAS

CF: Jermain DEFOE
CF: Robbie KEANE

Last Time: Portsmouth 2 Tottenham Hotspur 0

Jermain Defoe scored a first half penalty against the club he would return to in January after Jenas handled Glen Little's free kick. Peter Crouch then headed in the second goal against the club he would return to in the summer after Gomes spilled Armand Traore's effort.

This result left Juande Ramos' men bottom of the league with two points as Pompey jumped into the top half of the table. Barely a month later, Spurs would unveil Pompey's manager as their own and things changed.

Pundit Watch

Lawro: Draw (2-2)
Sky Sports: Away Win (2-3)
Soccernet: Away Win

My Prediction: With all the hype surrounding this game it's easy to get carried away with things off the pitch but this is likely to be a cracker on the pitch with goals at both ends.

I expect one of our old boys to get on the scoresheet but if there is any justice in the football world, we'll be repaid for the bad luck we had against Everton, Redknapp will get what he deserves for his disloyalty and Kevin-Prince Boateng will score the winner in stoppage time.

Portsmouth 3 Tottenham Hotspur 2