Portsmouth vs Scunthorpe Preview

17 December 2010 04:57
Pompey seek home comforts against strugglers. Portsmouth take on Scunthorpe United at Fratton Park tomorrow for their first home fixture in over a month, provided the forthcoming snow shower will allow it.Team NewsGreg Halford is suspended for this fixture for picking up his fifth yellow card at Norwich so Joel Ward will take his place at right back whilst Carl Dickinson returns at left back following a three-game ban.Steve Cotterill must also decide whether to play Michael Brown or Richard Hughes in the centre of midfield with both only two squad appearances away from automatically renewing their contract on wages that Pompey simply cannot afford.The Pompey manager has also revealed that a player faces a late fitness test ahead of the match, but won't disclose who it is.Scunthorpe manager Ian Baraclough can recall midfielder Michael Collins to the side after he recovered from a shoulder injury whilst a former Pompey youngster in Paris Cowan-Hall may make an appearance on the bench.The MatchIf the weather forecast is correct then we can expect a major snowstorm to hit Portsmouth tonight where up to 25cm of snow is expected to cover the ground. If this is the case, then the match tomorrow will certainly be called off.If the game does go ahead, then this represents a massive opportunity for Pompey to take three points against a side that has lost its last five games and have slid into 23rd place in the Championship.Despite this, Scunthorpe remain a threat on their travels due to having taken 15 of their 20 points away from Glanford Park and so must be taken seriously, especially with the squad selection dilemma facing Steve Cotterill.Still, Scunthorpe aren't on such a horrific run for no reason and it seems that Nigel Adkins' defection to the small club down the road has really hit them hard.Their forwards aren't scoring and their defence are conceding too many sloppy goals, much like Pompey were at the start of the season. Now that Kitson has a goal to his name and after Nugent's performance at Carrow Road, there's no reason why either can't grab a goal or two tomorrow.Failure to win this match tomorrow would be a huge disappointment but I'm confident that Pompey will do the business tomorrow, so long as the snow doesn't stop the game from happening!Predicted Starting Line-UpsPompeyGK: Jamie ASHDOWNRB: Joel WARDCB: Ricardo ROCHACB: Ibrahima SONKOLB: Carl DICKINSONRM: Liam LAWRENCECM: Hayden MULLINSCM: Michael BROWNLM: John UTAKACF: David NUGENTCF: Dave KITSONScunthorpeGK: Joe MURPHYRB: Clifford BYRNECB: Rob JONESCB: Eddie NOLANLB: Michael O'CONNORRM: Andrew WRIGHTCM: Josh WRIGHTCM: Sam TOGWELLLM: Martyn WOOLFORDCF: Chris DAGNALLCF: Freddie SEARSLast Time: Portsmouth 2 Scunthorpe United 1 (FA Cup Fourth Round - 24/01/2004)A brace from Matthew Taylor was enough to see injury-hit Pompey beat their Division Three counterparts. Andy Parton scored a late goal for Brian Laws' men to set up a tense finish but couldn't find an equaliser in stoppage time.My PredictionGiven that we've come off the back of two impressive away wins and Scunthorpe are on a losing streak they don't look like turning round, you've got to back to boys in Blue.Portsmouth 3 Scunthorpe United 1