Sunderland vs Portsmouth Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 07 November 2008
It's safe to say that Pompey fans haven't had the best time since Harry Redknapp defected to Tottenham so maybe a match at Sunderland's Stadium of Light can provide some much needed inspiration for Tony Adams' men.

Pompey haven't won since beating Stoke 2-1 at Fratton Park and have only taken two points from twelve since that game, cursing much bad luck along the way.

The Black Cats will want to bounce back after being hammered by Chelsea and losing at Stoke, but celebrated their first home win over Newcastle in over twenty years the last time they played at the Stadium of Light.

Roy Keane still has a concern over £9 million goalkeeper Craig Gordon whilst George McCartney is also a doubt. Kieran Richardson, scorer of both goals against Pompey in this fixture last season, has been impressive and is sure to be a danger once again.

Kenwyne Jones also gave the Pompey defence a torrid time last season so they'll have to be at their best to stop him, whilst Djibril Cisse will also pose a similar threat. Sunderland don't keep many clean sheets though, so hopefully we can take advantage of a defence low on confidence after the Chelsea mauling.

Niko Kranjcar is set to start his first game for Pompey since the opening day of the season and will probably replace Armand Traore on the left. Glen Little is still injured so it looks like Papa Bouba Diop will play on the right again...

This game is a tough one to call as Sunderland are strong at home but after some rotten luck in the past few games I think we may get some fortune in this one. With the league so tight, the fans of the losing team will be staring nervously at the table after tomorrow so let's hope that isn't us.

Especially as it's a bloody long way to travel after a defeat!

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Sunderland

GK: Marton FULOP

RB: Pascal CHIMBONDA
CB: Anton FERDINAND
CB: Nyron NOSWORTHY
LB: Phil BARDSLEY

RM: El Hadji DIOUF
CM: Dean WHITEHEAD
CM: Kieran RICHARDSON
LM: Steed MALBRANQUE

CF: Djibril CISSE
CF: Kenwyne JONES

Pompey

GK: David JAMES

RB: Glen JOHNSON
CB: Sol CAMPBELL
CB: Sylvain DISTIN
LB: Nadir BELHADJ

RM: Papa BOUBA DIOP
CM: Lassana DIARRA
CM: Sean DAVIS
LM: Niko KRANJCAR

CF: Jermain DEFOE
CF: Peter CROUCH

Last Time: Sunderland 2 Pompey 0

Kieran Richardson bagged a brace before half-time thanks to some poor defending on Pompey's behalf. Richardson also hit the bar as Benjani squandered a couple of great chances meaning a weakened Pompey side were easily beaten.

Pundit Watch

Lawro: Home Win (2-1)
Sky Sports: Draw (1-1)
Soccernet: Home Win
Footy-Mad: Draw

My Prediction: Sunderland will be looking for a response after two bad away defeats and are strong at home, but we've got a better team on paper and Tony Adams has to get some luck sooner or later. A point each I reckon.

Sunderland 1 Pompey 1

Portsmouth Match Reports


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