Norwich vs Portsmouth Preview

10 December 2010 06:09
Can Pompey cage the Canaries? Pompey travel to high-flying Norwich tomorrow in hopes of securing another impressive away win to get the play-off push well and truly back on track.Team NewsCarl Dickinson serves the final game of his suspension whilst Hermann Hreidarsson is still not ready to play a full match, meaning Joel Ward will continue at left back in what should be an unchanged side.Norwich captain and top scorer Grant Holt is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season at Derby last week, so Simeon Jackson should replace him. Andrew Surman and Adam Drury head a lengthy injury list which leaves the Canaries without a fit left back.The MatchIt'll be interesting to see how much the unexpected break between this match and the last would have affected Pompey in terms of fitness and form but confidence should be quite high after the win at the Liberty Stadium a fortnight ago.Norwich have been this season's surprise packages so far and currently sit fourth in the Championship table. This is mainly due to the astute management of Paul Lambert and some excellent teamwork.However, Grant Holt has scored nine goals for the Canaries this season and will be a big miss for Paul Lambert's side. Pompey can also take heart from the fact that the hosts, like themselves, have only kept two clean sheets all season and have conceded in their last seven games.On the other hand, last season's League One winners haven't tasted defeat since the 30th of October when they were beaten 3-1 at Cardiff.This will be a tough match, make no mistake about that and we could certainly do without making it harder for ourselves by conceding an early goal.In the last three matches Pompey have conceded the opening goal in the first fifteen minutes and this generousity simply can't continue if there is a serious promotion push on the cards.We also need to see more goals from Dave Kitson and John Utaka. Whilst both of them have been working hard for the team, collectively neither has scored a goal since October and we can't keep relying on Nugent and Lawrence to bang them in for us.I'm expecting an entertaining game tomorrow, let's just hope it is Pompey that come away from Carrow Road on the right end of the result.Predicted Starting Line-UpsNorwichGK: John RUDDYRB: Russell MARTINCB: Leon BARNETTCB: Elliott WARDLB: Simon LAPPINRM: Andrew CROFTSCM: Henri LANSBURYCM: David FOXLM: Wes HOOLAHANCF: Chris MARTINCF: Simeon JACKSONPompeyGK: Jamie ASHDOWNRB: Greg HALFORDCB: Ricardo ROCHACB: Aaron MOKOENALB: Joel WARDRM: Liam LAWRENCECM: Hayden MULLINSCM: Michael BROWNLM: John UTAKACF: Dave KITSONCF: David NUGENTLast Time: Norwich City 2 Portsmouth 2 (Premier League - 02/10/2004)Yakubu gave Pompey the lead after Quashie's shot could only be parried away by Robert Green, but the Canaries equalised in a frantic period in the second half that began with Darren Huckerby scoring from the spot at the second attempt.Two minutes later Pompey retook the lead when Patrik Berger blasted in a free kick from long range only to be pegged back again just a couple of minutes afterwards thanks to Simon Charlton's header.Both sides went for the win but the points were shared in this entertaining encounter.My PredictionBoth sides score plenty and both sides concede plenty too so I think this game will guarantee goals. Grant Holt is a significant loss for the hosts and we have beaten a better side on the road in Swansea already this season, so I'm going to be optimistic for a change!Norwich City 1 Portsmouth 2