West Ham vs Portsmouth Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 14 November 2008
Tony Adams will be looking for back-to-back wins in the Premier League tomorrow at Upton Park as he faces another rookie manager and footballing legend in Gianfranco Zola.

Under Harry Redknapp Pompey have won every Premier League encounter at Upton Park and with the Hammers bottom of the "current form" table it looks like that run may continue under the new regime.

West Ham have worse problems than us not only on the pitch but off it too as they are reportedly in huge debt following the collapse of the Icelandic bank and may have to sell players in January. Therefore if they don't arrest their slide quickly then it's very possible they could find themselves relegated come May.

The home side will welcome back Valon Behrami and Carlton Cole back from injury and suspension respectively although Kieron Dyer and Diego Tristan are still on the sidelines.

Pompey's biggest worry is that Sol Campbell is a major doubt for the match with a toe injury and it also looks like John Utaka will miss out with a stomach bug. So I expect Adams to select the same side that won at Sunderland only with Younes Kaboul replacing Pompey's captain.

The league is so tight at the moment that a win could see Pompey jump to 6th in the table with a win whilst a defeat will mean we're looking nervously over our shoulders once again.

This one is a tough one to call as I expect West Ham's wingers to give us problems whilst Carlton Cole will be a handful for the defence and Craig Bellamy will also be the irritant we all know he can be. We have plenty of quality in the squad ourselves though and hopefully we can prey on the Irons' fragile confidence.

David James, Glen Johnson and Jermain Defoe once wore the claret and blue of West Ham so expect one or more of these players to do something in the game that will either turn it in our favour or cost us dearly.

I'm expecting an entertaining game tomorrow but it's difficult to call because despite the woeful form of Zola's men, we have a habit of gifting struggling teams points like we did with Wigan a fortnight ago.

Hopefully we won't do it again.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

West Ham

GK: Robert GREEN

RB: Valon BEHRAMI
CB: James COLLINS
CB: Matthew UPSON
LB: Herita ILUNGA

RM: Julien FAUBERT
CM: Scott PARKER
CM: Lee BOWYER
LM: Matthew ETHERINGTON

CF: Carlton COLE
CF: Craig BELLAMY

Pompey

GK: David JAMES

RB: Glen JOHNSON
CB: Younes KABOUL
CB: Sylvain DISTIN
LB: Noe PAMAROT

RM: Niko KRANJCAR
CM: Sean DAVIS
CM: Lassana DIARRA
LM: Nadir BELHADJ

CF: Jermain DEFOE
CF: Peter CROUCH

Last Time: West Ham United 0 Pompey 1

The Hammers missed a great opportunity to go in front when James saved Bobby Zamora's shot and paid the price when Niko Kranjcar's sweet long range strike gave Pompey all three points in the second half.

Pundit Watch

Lawro: Draw (1-1)
Sky Sports: Away Win (0-1)
Soccernet: Home Win
Footy-Mad: Away Win

My Prediction: As much as West Ham are struggling, I think a fourth straight win at the same ground is just too much to be true. It'll be an open game with plenty of chances and mistakes, so I'll go for a draw.

West Ham 2 Pompey 2

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Sat 18th November 15:00

Portsmouth 1 - 0 Southend United

Last game - Match Centre


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