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Plymouth vs Portsmouth Preview
Can Pompey win the Dockyard Derby?
Portsmouth travel to Plymouth tomorrow for the early kick-off on Sky TV looking to build a winning run of results.
Marcos Painter is doubtful after limping off in the midweek win at Oxford and Danny East, Simon Ferry, Tom Craddock and David Connolly are all still injured. Joe Devera and Patrick Agyemang should return to the starting line-up.
Goalkeeper Luke McCormick, once in prison for causing death by dangerous driving, is set to return to the Pilgrims' starting line-up having sat out Tuesday's JPT defeat to Swindon. Paul Hayes is set to make his home debut for the club.
Having won the last two matches, it seems like Pompey have finally turned a corner and now have the opportunity to put a run of results together that will see them climb the table.
On the other hand, Plymouth are faltering and are winless in four games having taken one point from twelve and that was at home against rock bottom Accrington Stanley.
Their confidence is low but that never stopped York from handing Pompey a severe beating and so Guy Whittingham must ensure that the same workrate that his team have shown in the last two games continues.
With Painter out it seems like Shaun Cooper will start at left back but otherwise it would seem that the Portsmouth manager will stick with the same side that blew Rochdale away last weekend.
Plymouth are there for the taking but this division is much of a muchness and it would be foolish to believe that they will go down without a fight despite the negativity currently surrounding the club.
They are having problems at the back and really struggling to score goals but Paul Hayes is capable of scoring goals for fun at this level so Trevor Carson will have to be at his best should he decide to turn on the style.
Speaking of style, Pompey's wingers have plenty of that and should be able to get at a back line that lacks pace and if Agyemang is in the mood and Marquis finds his shooting boots then there is no reason why the visiting fans won't be celebrating another win in front of the Sky cameras.
However, if Pompey can't take the opportunity to win this game and get their season well and truly back on track then we may as well all give up already.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Luke McCORMICK
RWB: Andres GURRERI
CB: Curtis NELSON
CB: Guy BRANSTON
CB: Maxime BLANCHARD
LB: Andre BLACKMAN
CM: Connor HOURIHANE
CM: Dominic BLIZZARD
CM: Luke YOUNG
CF: Paul HAYES
CF: Rueben REID
GK: Trevor CARSON
RB: Joe DEVERA
CB: Sonny BRADLEY
CB: Bondz N'GALA
LB: Shaun COOPER
RM: Jed WALLACE
CM: Therry RACON
CM: Johnny ERTL
LM: Ricky HOLMES
CF: Patrick AGYEMANG
CF: John MARQUIS
Last Time: Plymouth Argyle 3 Portsmouth 0 (League Cup First Round - 14/08/2012)
With days to go before the league season and without any senior players signed, Pompey took to the field with what was effectively the youth team and were undone right before the break with a thunderous strike from Johnny Gorman.
Paris Cowan-Hall headed in a second late on and Nick Chadwick scored a third to ensure Pompey's young team would be knocked out despite their efforts.
As long as the effort is there then there should be enough confidence and ability in this Pompey team to defeat ailing Argyle who look sluggish at the back.
Plymouth Argyle 1 Portsmouth 2
Source: Fratton Faithful
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