Derby vs Portsmouth Preview
Pompey head to Pride Park looking for their first away win.
Managerless Pompey travel to high-flying Derby County tomorrow looking for their first win away from home since March.
Stuart Gray and Guy Whittingham may well decide to go with the same side that beat Doncaster last week but Benjani faces a late fitness test on his tight hamstring and Abdul Razak may feature after signing on loan from Man City.
Jason Shackell, who was wanted by Pompey in the summer, is expected to start despite coming off at Middlesbrough with a hip flexor strain. Right back Russell Anderson should also return to the squad.
Derby have been one of the season's surprise packages this season with Nigel Clough finally getting things together and turning his side into probable promotion contenders.
There aren't any stand-out names in the Rams' squad but the sum of the parts has turned out to be greater than the individuals with the Pride Park outfit currently sitting in sixth place in the Championship.
That isn't good news for Pompey who are still yet to win away from home and haven't looked like doing so all season, despite good performances at West Ham and Ipswich.
The main problem has been scoring goals as Gray and Guy's men couldn't make their dominance count at Portman Road and ended up paying the price.
However, Luke Varney will have a point to prove after he failed to make his mark at Derby. With three goals in three games, the man is starting to find some form and has been helped with Dave Kitson playing alongside him. It seems like the two players compliment their styles of play.
It will be a tough ask to break down the Rams' stubborn defence but I have a feeling we might just sneak something tomorrow, and I haven't felt like that about an away match for a long time.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Frank FIELDING
RB: Russell ANDERSON
CB: Jason SHACKELL
CB: Shaun BARKER
LB: Kevin KILBANE
RM: Lee CROFT
CM: Craig BRYSON
CM: James BAILEY
LM: Ben DAVIES
CF: Chris MAGUIRE
CF: Theo ROBINSON
GK: Stephen HENDERSON
RB: Greg HALFORD
CB: Ricardo ROCHA
CB: Jason PEARCE
LB: Tal BEN-HAIM
RM: Liam LAWRENCE
CM: Hayden MULLINS
CM: David NORRIS
LM: Erik HUSEKLEPP
CF: Luke VARNEY
CF: Dave KITSON
Click here for the Fratton Faithful Derby County Championship Profile page.
Last Time: Derby County 2 Portsmouth 0 (Championship - 06/11/2010)
A disjointed Pompey team were behind early in the game when Mokoena clearly fouled Cwyka in the box and Robbie Savage scored the resulting penalty.
Poor defending meant Paul Green had a tap in early in the second half to score the goal that would end Pompey's seven game unbeaten run and five game winning streak.
Confidence is high since Steve Cotterill departed but Derby are a tough nut to crack and I think this will be a draw.
Derby County 1 Portsmouth 1
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