Hull City v Portsmouth preview

23 October 2009 10:56
Hull City welcome Portsmouth to the KC Stadium on Saturday for a crucial six-pointer at the bottom of the table. The struggling Tigers sit third from bottom going into the game after picking up just seven points from their opening nine matches, while Pompey prop up the table with only a single victory over Wolves to their name. Both under-pressure Hull boss Phil Brown and Pompey manager Paul Hart know the significance of this tie and will be demanding a maximum effort from their players. While Hull lost 2-0 to Fulham last time, the Tigers will be the more confident going into the game given they have picked up both their wins to date at the KC Stadium - a 1-0 victory over Bolton and a 2-1 success against Wigan. Pompey suffered a 2-1 home reverse to Spurs last time but their solitary win so far came on the road which will give Hart's men some hope. Team newsRecord signing Jimmy Bullard could make his first Hull start in the crucial clash. The �5million midfielder made his first appearance in nine months as a substitute in Monday's loss at Fulham and then had another run-out in the reserves the following night. Defender Anthony Gardner is also back in contention after two months on the sidelines with a knee injury while captain Nick Barmby has overcome a calf problem. With Richard Garcia nearing fitness after a knee injury, Ian Ashbee (knee) is Hull's only major casualty. For Portsmouth, midfielder Michael Brown is suspended following his red card against Spurs. Loan player Jamie O'Hara returns to the side as he was unable to play against his parent club last weekend, but the game comes too soon for Hermann Hreidarsson who is recovering from a foot tendon injury. Papa Bouba Diop and Richard Hughes remain absent with hamstring and hip problems respectively, despite turning out for the reserves in midweek. Possible starting Xls Hull: Myhill, McShane, Dawson, Sonko, Marney, Zayatte, Kilbane, Geovanni, Hunt, Bullard, Vennegoor of Hesselink. Portsmouth: James, Finnan, Ben-Haim, Kaboul, Mokoena, O'Hara, Yebda, Boateng, Wilson, Dindane, Smith.

Source: SKY_Sports