Queens Park Rangers vs Portsmouth Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 31 January 2011
After a disappointing transfer deadline day, Steve Cotterill must lift his out-of-form troops to face league leaders QPR tomorrow evening.

Team News

Steve Cotterill must decide who will replace John Utaka after the Nigerian's move to Montpellier on Sunday. It may be that the Pompey manager may push Ritchie De Laet forward into left midfield or possibly change the formation altogether.

Aaron Mokoena and Dave Kitson both return from suspension and should both go straight back into the starting line-up.

Tommy Smith may not play against his former club as he picked up an injury in QPR's midweek draw with Hull, so Rob Hulse will replace him. Alejandro Faurlin is also a doubt.

The Match

Pompey may have drawn their last five out of six games with QPR but it will be difficult to see anything but a defeat at Loftus Road for Steve Cotterill's men tomorrow.

Portsmouth are now seven league games without a win and are in something of a defensive crisis having conceded at least two goals in every match since Boxing Day.

And whilst scoring hasn't been a problem for Pompey this season, the Hoops have the best defensive record in the league having kept 15 clean sheets and having only conceded 18 goals all season.

If you want to take some positives going into this match then you only have to remember that Neil Warnock's men were average when they came to Fratton Park and were fortunate to be bailed out by the penalty-that-never-was which preserved their unbeaten run.

Not only that, but Pompey seem to perform better against the best teams in this division, especially away from home. We should never have lost to Forest, fought to a draw at Leeds and beat Norwich and Swansea so the result isn't a foregone conclusion.

But I don't expect many Pompey fans to head to West London with any expectation after recent events.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

QPR

GK: Paddy KENNY

RB: Bradley ORR
CB: Kaspars GORKKS
CB: Matthew CONOLLY
LB: Clint HILL

CM: Shaun DERRY
CM: Alejandro FAURLIN
CM: Adel TAARABT

RWF: Tommy SMITH
LWF: Wayne ROUTLEDGE
CF: Ishmael MILLER

Pompey

GK: Jamie ASHDOWN

RB: Greg HALFORD
CB: Aaron MOKOENA
CB: Ibrahima SONKO
LB: Carl DICKINSON

RM: Liam LAWRENCE
CM: Hayden MULLINS
CM: Jonathan HOGG
LM: Ritchie DE LAET

CF: David NUGENT
CF: Dave KITSON

Last Time: Queens Park Rangers 1 Portsmouth 1 (Division One - 04/11/2000)

Paul Peschisolido scored just ten minutes into his Hoops debut to give his struggling side the lead but Pompey earned a share of the spoils after Lee Bradbury equalised three minutes after half-time.

My Prediction

Pompey haven't won at Loftus Road since 1961, I fully expect that run to continue tomorrow.

Queens Park Rangers 2 Portsmouth 0

Portsmouth Match Reports


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