Swansea vs Portsmouth Preview
By Jim Bonner
Updated Thursday, 25th November 2010
Will a Friday night trip to Wales change Pompey's fortunes?Pompey travel to high-flying Swansea tomorrow night in hopes of reversing a recent poor run of results.
Carl Dickinson is still suspended so Steve Cotterill may call on Hermann Hreidarsson to return at left back in place of Joel Ward. Otherwise, it should be the same team that performed so badly at Barnsley on Saturday.
Brendan Rodgers can recall Alan Tate to the side after suspension but Garry Monk may miss the game with injury, with either Albert Serran or Kemy Agustien ready to take his place.
Given how well Swansea are playing right now, most Pompey fans would gladly accept a draw at the Liberty Stadium tomorrow evening.
The Swans have an exceptional home record, having only lost one game (to Bristol City) and having only conceded two goals, so the task facing Pompey tomorrow is there for all to see.
Our away from has been a concern since the season began and was compounded last weekend with the drab defeat at Oakwell. Pompey have struggled to score and have conceded too many cheap goals on the road this season so forgive me for thinking that we could be in for a torrid time tomorrow.
The scoring problem is something that Dave Kitson, now seven games without a goal, has acknowledged and has vowed to change the way he plays to get back on the scoresheet. I
f he stops coming deep into the midfield, then he should be able to hold the ball higher up the pitch. It may not sound like a big deal but given how little time we have had the ball in the opposition half away from home, having someone hold the ball in their half would at least give Pompey a starting point to create something.
Again, it's not our attack that is my primary concern right now because the defence once again failed to tighten up down the wings and failed to close down a key opposition player.
Whoever plays at full back tomorrow simply cannot be caught out of position with players such as Nathan Dyer and Scott Sinclair on the pitch, because they are capable of ripping Championship defences to shreds.
I would be very surprised if we kept a clean sheet tomorrow, and even more surprised if we got a result. That run of eight games unbeaten seems a long way away now and it has got to the point where even scoring away from home has become too difficult.
But then this is the Championship, not the Barclays Predictable League and so it would be foolish to write Pompey off with the players we have in our side.
It's simply about time that some of them started playing as well as they can.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Dorus DE VRIES
RB: Alan TATE
CB: Ashley WILLIAMS
CB: Garry MONK
LB: Neil TAYLOR
RM: David COTTERILL
CM: Joe ALLEN
CM: Darren PRATLEY
LM: Nathan DYER
CF: Mark GOWER
CF: Craig BEATTIE
GK: Jamie ASHDOWN
RB: Greg HALFORD
CB: Ricardo ROCHA
CB: Aaron MOKOENA
LB: Joel WARD
RM: Liam LAWRENCE
CM: Michael BROWN
CM: Hayden MULLINS
LM: John UTAKA
CF: Dave KITSON
CF: David NUGENT
Last Time: Swansea City 1 Portsmouth 2 (Division Two - 17/12/1983)
Pompey's last visit to Vetch Field ended in victory thanks to goals from Mark Hateley and Kevin Dillon. Pompey would finish the season in 16th place but Swansea were relegated to the old division three.
Scoring against a side that has only conceded two goals at home all season is going to be difficult enough without worrying about our own defence. After the Barnsley debacle I can only see defeat here, I'm afraid.
Swansea City 2 Portsmouth 0
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