Tranmere vs Portsmouth Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 28 November 2014

Pompey travel to Birkenhead tomorrow to take on struggling Tranmere Rovers in a bid to improve their dismal away form.

Team News

Lee Holmes could start after being loaned from Preston but Andy Awford is unlikely to make many changes to his side after they beat Morecambe 3-0 last weekend. Andy Barcham's comeback will have to wait after a recurrence of his groin injury.

Peter Brezovan spent some time with Pompey earlier in the season and is now with Tranmere but is doubtful for this game as he has a stiff back. Striker George Donnelly returns from a three-match-ban following his red card in the FA Cup.

The Match

Everyone knows how bad Portsmouth are away from Fratton Park having only won once and scored three league goals on the road; the worst goalscoring record away from home in the entire Football League.

However, with Tranmere currently sitting second-bottom in League Two and without a league win since August, there will not be a better time to turn that dismal statistic around.

How Pompey go about beating Tranmere is another question with so many players who seem to go missing when not playing in front of a huge crowd on home turf.

That's probably where Lee Holmes comes in, but it's difficult to see who he could replace as Jed Wallace scored twice against Morecambe with Miles Storey arguably the best player on the pitch that day. Craig Westcarr also found the net and whilst it might be easier to drop Ryan Taylor after he missed a couple of sitters, the team would miss his physical presence and link-up play. It's a tough call.

Having had the opportunity to speak to Alan McLoughlin last week he suggested that Pompey will go to Prenton Park for a draw (or would take one, at least) but that kind of attitude may see Pompey get beaten, especially if the defence fail to deal with the aerial bombardment that Micky Adams teams are famous for.

Hopefully, last week's win would have given the players the confidence to go out and play some good attacking football and actually take advantage of playing a poor team on their own patch for a change. Whilst a draw wouldn't be the worst result in the world, the mentality really should be to push to win these kinds of matches.

Tomorrow is the day that we might just see what Andy Awford's Portsmouth are truly capable of acheiving this season.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Pompey

GK: Paul JONES

RB: Matt FISH

CB: Jack WHATMOUGH

CB: Paul ROBINSON

LB: Dan BUTLER

RM: Jed WALLACE

CM: Marcus BEAN

CM: Danny HOLLANDS

LM: Lee HOLMES

CF: Miles STOREY

CF: Craig WESTCARR

Last Time: Tranmere Rovers 2 Portsmouth 2 (League One - 08/12/2012)

Pompey fell behind to the league leaders when Ash Taylor headed past Simon Eastwood but they equalised in the second half when Gabor Gyepes headed in Brian Howard's free kick.

Michael O'Halloran's tap in looked to have won it for Rovers but Jake Jervis, previously on loan at Tranmere, equalised with a superb strike to earn Guy Whittingham and Andy Awford's team a well-deserved draw.

My Prediction

This is a tough one to predict as it'll be interesting to see just how much extra steel and quality Fish, Bean and Holmes add to a side that has struggled away from home. On the other hand Micky Adams has a hoodoo sign over Pompey and his team are yet to win a league game under his management...

Tranmere Rovers 1 Portsmouth 0

Portsmouth Match Reports


Trending on the boards