Portsmouth v Sheff Utd

04 March 2011 01:17
Portsmouth are without Liam Lawrence and have major doubts over the fitness of Hayden Mullins and Joel Ward.All three players have calf problems, with Lawrence likely to be sidelined for at least another fortnight.

Sheffield United could include Nick Montgomery (knee), Joe Mattock (ankle) and striker Sam Vokes (hamstring).

But Chris Morgan remains sidelined along with fellow defenders Andy Taylor and Ryan France and goalkeeper Richard Wright, while Shane Lowry is suspended.



MATCH PREVIEW What a time for Sheffield United to have to face the division's form team. They are next to bottom of the table, have slumped to three consecutive defeats, and are yet to win under manager Micky Adams. Portsmouth, on the other hand, are enjoying their best run of results for several years.

United's run of 13 games without a league victory is the longest winless sequence suffered by a Championship side this season and Preston, the team immediately below them, are the only other second-tier club yet to win in 2011. And even Preston have scored more goals this season than the Blades, who have netted a paltry 30.

They will therefore do well to get anything against Pompey, who have moved to within seven points of the play-off spots after notching five consecutive wins without letting in a single goal. They have gone just under eight-and-a-half hours of football without conceding.

And if the south-coast side keep United at bay for 46 minutes of this game, they will boast the Championship's longest spell without shipping a goal this season. That distinction is currently held by high-flying Swansea, who went 551 minutes without conceding earlier in the campaign.



MATCH FACTS Head-to-head

• This is the 70th league match between these clubs. Sheffield United have won 36 of the previous 69, and Portsmouth 23.

• Portsmouth have scored 100 goals against the Blades, who have won on only one of their last eight visits to Fratton Park.

Portsmouth

• Portsmouth are enjoying their longest winning league run since they notched seven victories in a row in the 2002/03 season, when they won promotion to the top flight.

• Pompey have scored in each of their last 14 home league games.

• David Cotterill is set to face his former club.

Sheffield United

• United have taken only two points from the last available 18.

• They have drawn four and lost eight of their matches under Micky Adams.

• The Blades have conceded 54 league goals - one less than they let in throughout the whole of last season.

Source: BBC_Sport