Portsmouth vs Bury Preview
Will Pompey triumph over managerless Shakers?
Portsmouth take on Bury tomorrow afternoon looking to build on their recent unbeaten run with another victory.
Trevor Carson is unavailable to play against his parent club so either Phil Smith or John Sullivan will replace him in goal for this game. David Connolly, Tom Craddock and Marcos Painter are still sidelined but Danny East and Simon Ferry could make a return to the side after injury.
Caretaker manager Ronnie Jepson is set to hand a debut to former Aldershot striker Danny Hylton who is on loan from Rotherham but midfielder Marcos Navas is still injured.
It would be fair to say that the draw at Plymouth last weekend received a mixed reaction from Portsmouth supporters, some of whom believe that any point away from home is good, especially when falling behind whilst others think that the struggling Pilgrims should have been put to the sword.
Regardless of the feelings from that match it would be fair to assume that only victory is acceptable when 21st placed Bury visit Fratton Park having just sacked Kevin Blackwell.
The Shakers have struggled to score but the on-loan Hylton should cause problems to a Pompey defence that will be wary of having one of either the hapless Smith or Sullivan in goal. It's almost certainly going to be the former as the latter's York crimes are probably yet to be forgiven.
If Simon Ferry is available it will be interesting to see if he is selected ahead of Johnny Ertl. There is no chance that Whittingham will drop Therry Racon after his performances since his return but will he have the bottle to drop his underperforming captain?
The Pompey manager has also told the media that Yassin Moutaouakil is still his first choice right back despite his howler at Home Park. In his defence, he apologised to the fans for his mistake and also produced a match-saving challenge during that match too. What kind of performance will we see from him tomorrow?
If Moutaouakil is playing at right back then Joe Devera is likely to continue at left back as he seems to be another player that Whittingham will not drop when available. Ricky Holmes, Jed Wallace and Patrick Agyemang have been Pompey's best performers in recent weeks and they will surely be key to winning this game too.
On the face of it, there should be enough quality in this Portsmouth team to dispatch the lowly Shakers but you just have to wonder how the defence will cope without Carson and just how fired up Bury will be now that Blackwell has gone.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Phil SMITH
RB: Yassin MOUTAOUAKIL
CB: Bondz N'GALA
CB: Sonny BRADLEY
LB: Joe DEVERA
RM: Jed WALLACE
CM: Therry RACON
CM: Johnny ERTL
LM: Ricky HOLMES
CF: Patrick AGYEMANG
CF: John MARQUIS
GK: Brian JENSEN
RB: Shaun BEELEY
CB: Nathan CAMERON
CB: William EDJENGUELE
LB: Jordan MUSTOE
RM: Craig JONES
CM: Jordan SINNOTT
CM: Andrew PROCTER
LM: Danny MAYOR
CF: Danny HYLTON
CF: Andrew FORRESTER
Last Time: Portsmouth 2 Bury 0 (League One - 09/03/2013)
After a poor first half, Pompey came out and put Bury to bed in the second thanks to two goals from David Connolly. He turned in Wallace's cross for the first and then finished the second when Carson could only parry Ertl's shot into his path.
League Two is proving very hard to predict with so many inconsistent teams and the football generally being poor. However, so long as Marquis brings his shooting boots and the other attacking players continue to perform then Pompey should win this game, but not without conceding.
Portsmouth 2 Bury 1
Source: Fratton Faithful
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