Bournemouth vs Portsmouth Preview
Pompey aim to avoid club record in a local derby of sorts.
One of the worst form teams in the country take on one of the best form teams in the country as Pompey look to avoid equalling a club record of 19 games without a win.
Patrick Agyemang, John Akinde and Therry Racon are all available to make their Pompey debuts after signing today but it's likely only Racon and Agyemang will start.
David Connolly is still injured but Ricardo Rocha is available after missing the Scunthorpe game with an ankle injury. Shaun Cooper and James Keene will be playing against their former club if selected.
David James will not get the chance to play against his former club as he has been dropped in recent games for Shwan Jalal. However, Matt Ritchie is likely to start against his boyhood club for the third time this season after his January move from Swindon.
Defender Tommy Elphick will miss the game with a knee injury and Charlie Daniels is also rated doubtful with a foot problem.
What a difference six months makes, eh?
Portsmouth hosted the Cherries at Fratton Park and despite a 1-1 draw, fans were optimistic that the season ahead would be a good one whilst Bournemouth had a rotten start to the season under ex-Pompey coach Paul Groves.
Fast forward to the present day and former Pompey centre back Eddie Howe returned to the club where he was seen as a hero and is now worshipped like a God having completely transformed the team's fortunes.
Bournemouth are now only four points from the top of League One after a run of just one defeat in 19 games. That is stark contrast to Pompey who haven't won in 18 matches and have lost the last eight in the league also.
Logic suggests that the Cherries are going to walk all over us but football does love to surprise people with some odd results now and again. Who would have seen Peterborough win at Cardiff in a top vs bottom encounter in the Championship last year, for example?
And who would have believed that the League Cup final this season would be contested by Swansea City and Bradford City of League Two?
There were some encouraging signs at Scunthorpe that Pompey aren't completely hopeless and given that Bournemouth are not a long ball team, there should be less trouble for the defenders on Saturday given how vulnerable they have looked when the ball has been launched from back to front.
It will be a very tall order to get a result at Dean Court tomorrow but if the new faces can impose themselves on the game and the defence can manage to concentrate for the entire match then maybe, just maybe, a shock is on the cards.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Simon EASTWOOD
RB: Yassin MOUTAOUAKIL
CB: Ricardo ROCHA
CB: Gabor GYEPES
LB: Adam WEBSTER
RM: Therry RACON
CM: Johnny ERTL
CM: Shaun COOPER
LB: Liam WALKER
CF: Patrick AGYEMANG
CF: James KEENE
Last Time: Bournemouth 0 Portsmouth 1 (Division Two - 21/10/1989)
Guy Whittingham himself scored the only goal of this game in what was his first season for Pompey, who were under the management of John Gregory at the time.
Despite the possibility of causing an upset, I can only see this one going with the form book.
Bournemouth 3 Portsmouth 1
Source: Fratton Faithful
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