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Ipswich vs Portsmouth Preview

25 Feb 2011 18:50:22

Ipswich vs Portsmouth Preview

Two improving teams meet at Portman Road. Resurgent Pompey take on improving Ipswich tomorrow looking to secure their places in mid-table of the Championship, having been prime relegation candidates just weeks ago.Team NewsLiam Lawrence is again doubtful for this match despite undergoing oxygen treatment on his calf but Kanu should return to the squad after missing Tuesday's game because of personal reasons.David Norris, a player Steve Cotterill will try to sign in the summer, will miss the game because of ankle and knee problems whilst Colin Healy will also miss out with a stomach injury.The MatchAfter three straight wins without conceding a goal, Pompey can now go above Ipswich tomorrow should they win in Suffolk. However, the task won't be easy as Paul Jewell has rejuvenated the Tractor Boys since replacing Roy Keane.Pompey have only beaten Ipswich once in 17 attempts in the league but did emerge victorious from the last two FA Cup ties between the two sides. They also have a trump card in David Nugent who has scored at Portman Road on every visit and has never tasted defeat to Ipswich.Whether that will count for anything or not? Who knows? I am expecting another steely performance from our defence although I expect Connor Wickham to pose more problems than some of the recent strikers they have been up against.Moving on to a more personal perspective from a fan's point of view; I'm happy to be feeling so relaxed ahead of a football match involving Portsmouth for some time. Defeat wouldn't be the end of the world but that's not to say that this game is meaningless as we haven't achieved survival yet, but a win will see Pompey fans look up the table from now on rather than down it.I'm confident we can take something from this game as we've now become so much more difficult to score against mainly thanks to Ricardo Rocha. If the "Nugent curse" strikes again then perhaps we can nick one at the other end too but this should be more difficult than the last three games.Predicted Starting Line-UpsIpswichGK: Marton FULOPRB: Jaime PETERSCB: Gareth McCAULEYCB: Tommy SMITHLB: Damien DELANEYRM: Carlos EDWARDSCM: Jimmy BULLARDCM: Grant LEADBITTERLM: Mark KENNEDYCF: Jason SCOTLANDCF: Connor WICKHAMPompeyGK: Jamie ASHDOWNRB: Ritchie DE LAETCB: Greg HALFORDCB: Ricardo ROCHALB: Hermann HREIDARSSONDM: Hayden MULLINSDM: Jonathan HOGGRM: David COTTERILLCM: Joel WARDLM: David NUGENTCF: Dave KITSONLast Time: Ipswich Town 0 Portsmouth 1 (FA Cup Third Round - 05/01/2008)Liam Trotter received a harsh red card in the first half as ten man Ipswich tested Pompey but David Nugent latched onto a Sol Campbell long ball and put Pompey ahead.John Utaka missed a sitter which would have finished Town off and Pompey fans were made to sweat as Jim Magilton's men forced David James into some outstanding late saves to ensure Pompey would overcome the first hurdle on the way to winning the FA Cup.My PredictionI have had it in my mind since Wednesday that this is going to be a goalless draw due to Pompey's improved defence which has seen Pompey shrink as an attacking force. Nugent or Kitson could nick one but I'm sticking with my incline.Ipswich Town 0 Portsmouth 0


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