Portsmouth vs Barnsley Preview
How will the players react to Cotterill's departure?
Pompey take on Barnsley at 5:20pm tomorrow live on Sky Sports as fans continue to talk about the departure of Steve Cotterill to Nottingham Forest.
Stuart Gray and Guy Whittingham will pick the team for tomorrow's match. Luke Varney returns from suspension after his dismissal at Hull whilst Dave Kitson has also returned to training and may feature.
Barnsley striker Craig Davies and defender Rob Edwards are available after injury and manager Keith Hill has no new injury worries heading into the game.
Following the departure of Steve Cotterill, it will be interesting to see how the Pompey players will react and how Gray & Whittingham set the side to play.
Will they follow in the footsteps of the now ex-Pompey manager and play the boring 4-5-1 whilst looking for players to knock on long balls or will they try their own methods and play a 4-4-2 formation which encourages the players to pass the ball along the ground?
What is for certain is that the Cotterill saga has hampered preparation for this match which might be tougher than some people think, as Barnsley are unbeaten on the road and haven't tasted defeat in seven matches.
Keith Hill has turned the Tykes into a unit that is difficult to break down but struggles to score goals in Craig Davies' absence. With Davies back, there is a possibility that he may sharpen this blunt Barnsley team.
This match is virtually impossible to predict now due to the events of the last few days, which is a good thing as Pompey had become boring and predictable under Cotterill's management.
Will Ricardo Rocha play now? Will Dave Kitson feature and play with a strike partner like he has clearly been needing since the turn of the year? Will Henderson keep his place and will underperforming players such as Lawrence and Ward find a new spring in their step?
There are so many questions, maybe some of them will be answered during the game tomorrow?
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Stephen HENDERSON
RB: Greg HALFORD
CB: Jason PEARCE
CB: Ricardo ROCHA
LB: Tal BEN-HAIM
RM: Liam LAWRENCE
CM: Hayden MULLINS
CM: David NORRIS
LM: Erik HUSEKLEPP
CF: Luke VARNEY
GK: Luke STEELE
RB: Jim McNULTY
CB: Stephen FOSTER
CB: Rob EDWARDS
LB: Jay McEVELEY
RM: Jim O'BRIEN
CM: Nathan DOYLE
CM: Danny DRINKWATER
CM: Jacob BUTTERFIELD
LM: Ricardo VAZ TE
CF: Craig DAVIES
Last Time: Portsmouth 1 Barnsley 0 (Championship - 19/02/2011)
Kanu scored a late winner in this dire game when he glanced a header past Luke Steele from Greg Halford's cross.
Who knows what will happen? Cotterill's departure will either galvanise the Pompey players into a rousing performance or a torrid week of preparation for this game will see them struggle. I'll go for a mixture of both and predict a draw.
Portsmouth 1 Barnsley 1
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