Portsmouth vs Aston Villa Preview

17 April 2010 12:24
Cup finalists vs Cup would-be-finalists. After being dumped out of the FA Cup Semi-Final by Chelsea, Aston Villa arrive at Fratton Park come to Fratton Park knowing that only a win will save their season as they look to finish in the European places.Team NewsAvram Grant may welcome back some of the walking wounded that missed out at Wigan, but Jamie O'Hara misses out with a back injury and faces a race to be fit for the FA Cup Final.Ricardo Rocha was subbed at half-time at the DW Stadium with a "mystery injury" and could also miss out, whilst Kevin-Prince Boateng faces a long drive home from Germany after his flight was cancelled.Villa arrive at almost-full-strength with everyone fit bar Stephen Warnock who is doubtful with leg injury.The MatchAfter such a good season, Martin O'Neill could end up with nothing come the end of it. Twice losers at Wembley, Villa are in danger of slipping out of the race for the top 6.Finishing 7th would also no longer guarantee Villa a place in the Europa League because of Pompey's appeal to be there themselves after getting to the Cup Final.For Pompey fans, this will be a chance to welcome back the heroes of Wembley and probably see how the youngsters cope in the top flight against one of the better teams in the league. I expect more than a fair few of our fans will taunt the visitors about the fact that we're going back to Wembley and they're not!I expect a few goals in this one too, similar to the League Cup tie back in December last year. This time, all the pressure is on Villa and we'll be there just to enjoy the day.Predicted Starting Line-UpsPompeyGK: David JAMESRB: Anthony VANDEN BORRECB: Marc WILSONCB: Aaron MOKOENALB: Leonard SOWAHCM: Richard HUGHESCM: Hassan YEBDACM: Angelos BASINASRWF: Tommy SMITHLWF: Matt RITCHIECF: Frederic PIQUIONNEAston VillaGK: Brad FRIEDELRB: Habib BEYECB: Curtis DAVIESCB: James COLLINSLB: Luke YOUNGRM: James MILNERCM: Stilyan PETROVCM: Steve SIDWELLCM: Nigel REO-COKERLM: Ashley YOUNGCF: Gabriel AGBONLAHORLast Time: Portsmouth 0 Aston Villa 1Emile Heskey scored for the second time at Fratton Park last season as Villa secured their sixth consecutive away win in the Premier League. Nadir Belhadj was sent off for two bookable offences, both of them dissent.Pundit WatchLawro: Away Win (0-2)Sky Sports: Away Win (1-2)Paul Merson: Away Win (2-3)Soccernet: Away WinMy Prediction: We'll probably lose this as Villa simply have to win to keep their season alive. I expect an open game with goals at both ends, but Villa will ultimately have too much for a patched up Pompey team.Portsmouth 1 Aston Villa 2


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