Portsmouth vs Watford Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 01 January 2012

The opposition for Portsmouth's first game of 2012 is the same was it was for the first game in 2011, but Pompey fans will be hoping for a much different result this time round.

Team News

Greg Halford and Joel Ward will be missing as they picked up their fifth bookings of the season at Leicester yesterday. Ricardo Rocha faces a late check on a knock but Luke Varney may be available.

Sean Dyche may stick with the same side that hammered Doncaster yesterday as he has no new injury worries.

The Match

After an encouraging performance at Leicester, Pompey take on Watford needing a win to put some distance between them and the bottom three. After all, this is the month where the fire sale might begin and the points deduction might hit the club.

The Hornets, believe it or not, currently hold the longest unbeaten record in the Championship having not tasted defeat in eight games so they will prove to be difficult opposition, as they showed when they easily beat us at Vicarage Road when Michael Appleton first took charge.

The manager has a problem as he has no natural right back for this game with Halford and Ward suspended. I expect Aaron Mokoena will fill in at right back with Rocha partnering Pearce at centre back if he's fit. If not, we may see Hermann Hreidarsson get a rare start.

After impressing on his first start for the club you would also expect Marko Futacs to keep his place, whilst Erik Huseklepp should replace Joel Ward in midfield.

Hopefully Appleton will retain the attacking attitude shown yesterday and we'll see an entertaining game tomorrow, because Watford will certainly come forward often with their quick wingers and powerful strikers.

But I think we have enough to inflict Watford's first defeat in nine games, and that would be a real boost before the off-field issues look to hit the club hard in the coming weeks.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Pompey

GK: Stephen HENDERSON

RB: Aaron MOKOENA

CB: Ricardo ROCHA

CB: Jason PEARCE

LB: Joe MATTOCK

RM: Liam LAWRENCE

CM: Hayden MULLINS

CM: David NORRIS

LM: Erik HUSEKLEPP

SS: Dave KITSON

CF: Marko FUTACS

Watford

GK: Scott LOACH

RB: Lee HODSON

CB: Nyron NOSWORTHY

CB: Adrian MARIAPPA

LB: Carl DICKINSON

RM: Michael KIGHTLY

CM: Jonathan HOGG

CM: Prince BUABEN

LM: Mark YEATES

CF: Troy DEENEY

CF: Marvin SORDELL

Last Time: Portsmouth 3 Watford 2 (Championship - 16/10/2010)

Hayden Mullins opened the scoring with a superb strike from 25 yards as Pompey dominated the first half but Watford equalised when Martin Taylor headed in Jordan Mutch's corner.

The Hornets then took the lead when Stephen McGinn turned Michael Bryan's cross past Ashdown but Pompey hit back almost immediately through Dave Kitson.

Michael Brown then curled in a winning goal ten minutes from time to defeat Malky Mackay's men during this topsy-turvy encounter.

My Prediction

This is a very important game for Pompey and I think we'll just have enough to edge out Watford.

Portsmouth 2 Watford 1

Portsmouth Match Reports


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