Wolves vs Portsmouth Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 02 October 2009
Pompey travel to Molineux for the first time since 2003 aiming to avoid eight straight defeats in the Premier League, a record which would all but doom them to the drop.

Team News

Paul Hart is likely to name the same side that deserved more than a defeat against Everton on Saturday, although Frederic Piquionne is pushing for a recall and Steve Finnan could make the bench for the first time this season having recovered from injury.

Mick McCarthy's side has been plagued by injuries since the start of the season and although winger Michael Kightly could make his first start of the season following injury, Segundo Castillo is out with a hamstring problem.

The Match

There has hardly been any talk of this game during the week, such has been the turbulence off the pitch but we all should remember how important this match is.

We simply cannot afford another defeat on the trot as that will open up a gap between ourselves and the opposition who many have tipped to struggle this season despite a solid start to the campaign.

The contrast between the two clubs has been massive since the summer with Wolves riding the crest of a wave since promotion and going about their business quietly, with hardly a whisper of media attention.

On the other hand, Pompey fans have hit what is possibly an all-time low following a summer of uncertainty that has seen numerous questions raised about Sulaiman Al-Fahim and we've also had to watch our star names leave the club, with just two days to bring in the required replacements.

We've suffered our fair share of bad luck on the pitch this season too, with deflected goals, offside goals, late goals, dodgy penalties and the woodwork all adding up to what seems like a curse over the club.

But it has to come to an end soon and more specifically, it has to end tomorrow at Molineux if only to raise the spirits of the fans who deserve much better than they're getting.

A full contingent of 1,500 Pompey fans will be backing the lads to earn their first point(s) of the season and we will all be hoping that the announcement that the players haven't been paid on time hasn't de-motivated them and if anything, has encouraged them to be even more determined to win.

Winning in Wolverhampton will be no easy feat, as Wolves have a strong team spirit that remains from theirt promotion last year and a few handy players such as Kevin Doyle, Michael Kightly and Michael Mancienne.

However, they have just come from the Championship and they are inexperienced and that is what Pompey have to exploit if we're to get something from the game.

I hope Paul Hart has been working on the defensive unit and set-pieces with the team when he hasn't been talking to the media about our current crisis. We all need to fully support him and not call for his head as he is doing the best he can, on his own, in what really is an impossible job.

The rot has to stop somwehere. Let's hope we can get a result which would at least paper over the cracks until our long term future is secure.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Wolves

GK: Wayne HENNESSEY

RB: Greg HALFORD
CB: Christophe BERRA
CB: Michael MANCIENNE
LB: George ELEKOBI

RM: Michael KIGHTLY
CM: Karl HENRY
CM: Dave EDWARDS
LM: Matt JARVIS

CF: Kevin DOYLE
CF: Andy KEOGH

Pompey

GK: David JAMES

RB: Anthony VANDEN BORRE
CB: Younes KABOUL
CB: Marc WILSON
LB: Tal BEN-HAIM

DM: Aaron MOKOENA
CM: Michael BROWN
CM: Jamie O'HARA
AM: Kevin PRINCE-BOATENG

CF: Tommy SMITH
CF: Aruna DINDANE

Last Time: Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Portsmouth 0

The last time these two sides met at Molineux was August 2003 in the Premier League. Teddy Sheringham came the closest to scoring but Wolves ended up picking up their first point of the season, whilst Pompey maintained their unbeaten start to their debut season in the Premier League. How times have changed...

Pundit Watch

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

My Prediction: I was pretty confident going into this game until the revelation that the players hadn't been paid on time. Despite the feeling amongst fans, I just have a sneaky feeling we'll have some hope to cling on to by the time the final whistle blows and we'll finally end this terrible run of defeats.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Portsmouth 1

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Tue 17th October 19:45

Doncaster Rovers - - - Portsmouth

Last game - Match Centre


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