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Cheltenham vs Portsmouth Preview

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06 Sep 2013 18:20:38

Cheltenham vs Portsmouth Preview

Can Pompey get their league season back on track?

Portsmouth take on Cheltenham Town for the first time in their history looking for their first league win on the road this season.

Team News

Patrick Agyemang will be restored to the starting eleven after he was rested against Torquay on Tuesday. David Connolly is still banned but Guy Whittingham may have Marcos Painter back from injury. If not, Shaun Cooper may make his comeback at left back.

Veteran striker Jamie Cureton may make a return to the Cheltenham side after dislocating his shoulder on the opening day of the season. Defender Steve Elliott and midfielder Matt Richards may also return to the side.

The Match

The biggest problem facing Whittingham going into this match is how Pompey are going to score goals. Without David Connolly, Pompey seem a bit toothless up front and it speaks volumes when centre back Sonny Bradley has been the biggest goal threat in the last two games.

The Pompey manager may decide to pick the same team that dominated Tuesday's Paint Trophy game at Torquay but replace Ryan Bird up front with Agyemang, but he isn't the type of player who is going to pepper the opposition goal too often.

Therefore, perhaps it is finally time for Tom Craddock to step up and show us what he can really do. The former Luton and Oxford striker arrived at Portsmouth with a reputation of scoring goals regularly yet hasn't shown anything like that sort of form so far this season.

Apart from that, the defence has been pretty solid in the past couple of games (despite conceding twice to Chesterfield late on) and replacing Danny East with either Marcos Painter or Shaun Cooper will only improve it further.

The Robins have had a poor start to their league season but do possess some quality League Two players. Terry Gornell could well be the thorn in the side when playing out on the wing and despite being ancient Jamie Cureton still knows where the goal is.

Pompey can win this game, but only if what seems like a blunt attack can take advantage of Cheltenham's defensive frailties. If not, this may well be another stalemate on the road.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Cheltenham

GK: Scott BROWN

RB: Keith LOWE

CB: Steve ELLIOTT

CB: Ryan INNISS

LB: Sido JOMBATI

CM: Matt RICHARDS

CM: Russell PENN

CM: David NOBLE

RWF: Terry GORNELL

LWF: Steve GILLESPIE

CF: Jamie CURETON

Pompey

GK: John SULLIVAN

RB: Yassin MOUTAOUAKIL

CB: Joe DEVERA

CB: Sonny BRADLEY

LB: Marcos PAINTER

RM: Jed WALLACE

CM: Johnny ERTL

CM: Simon FERRY

LM: Andy BARCHAM

SS: Ricky HOLMES

CF: Patrick AGYEMANG

My Prediction

Without Connolly it's difficult to see Pompey scoring unless they can finally finish off some of the good build-up play they've shown in the last few games. Cheltenham may threaten but our defence has looked solid recently. It'll be a tight game.

Cheltenham Town 0 Portsmouth 0

Source: Fratton Faithful


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