Portsmouth vs Bournemouth Preview
Pompey make their first ever venture into the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
Portsmouth meet Bournemouth again for their first ever fixture in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy tomorrow night, but does anyone really care?
Kevin Long returns from suspension whilst Josh Thompson could be given his first taste of competitive action in a Portsmouth shirt. It is expected Michael Appleton may play a few of the youngsters such as Ashley Harris to give them some game time.
Paul Groves knows that his side are under pressure to deliver in the league this season, so expect a weakened Bournemouth line-up to play at Fratton Park tomorrow.
Whether you call it the Johnstone's Pisspot Trophy or the Johnstone's Paintball Trophy, Pompey do have a chance of making a sixth appearance at the new Wembley if they can get to the final of this not-so-prestigous competition.
Having patronised and ridiculed Southampton for winning such a "massive" trophy a couple of years back, it would be hypocritical for Pompey fans to take this competition seriously all of a sudden, especially as many of us have witnessed our team win a real piece of silverware in recent history.
It may surprise you to see that this isn't just a "Billy Big Bollocks" attitude from the Pompey fans as the Cherries supporters don't seem to care about this game very much either.
So, even though this competition may be a hinderance to the more important issue of staying in League One, it would be good for the team to get their first win of the season and it might be an opportunity for the players to gel further, having looked so sloppy on Saturday.
Hopefully Ashley Harris will start the game and we'll be able to see what he can do. He has been impressive when coming on as a substitute so this is a great opportunity for him to display his talents on live TV.
Kevin Long and Josh Thompson may well also play together for the first time. There is a feeling that Michael Appleton sees these two players as his first choice centre back partnership, so they'll need some game time together before Sunday's trip to Crawley.
The result probably won't matter but a win puts Pompey a step closer to Wembley and might give the regular travelling fans the opportunity to visit a ground that Pompey haven't been to for years in the next round.
That is, of course, if Pompey win tomorrow. I suspect this will be a draw after ninety minutes which means the match will go straight to penalties.
Which we'll lose...
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