Portsmouth vs Chesterfield Preview
Pompey go toe-to-toe with one of League Two's heavyweights.
Pompey will face a serious test of their promotion credentials when Chesterfield come to Fratton Park on Saturday.
Marcos Painter is out after hobbling off at Mansfield and will either be replaced with Dan Butler or Danny East at left back. Johnny Ertl may well be brought back into the starting line up and Bondz N'Gala may keep his place in the team after extending his contract til January.
Spireites boss Paul Cook may be tempted to bring back captain Ian Evatt into his team but is likely to stick with the same side that beat Southend thanks to a last minute stoppage time goal last weekend.
The bookies may have had Portsmouth as favourites to win League Two but in the minds of many, Chesterfield are the true favourites to be the champions come May and their start to the season has justified that.
Unbeaten in the league with three wins and a draw, the Spireites should be the toughest test yet for Guy Whittingham's men.
They play a fast-paced pressing game which is a stark contrast to Mansfield's hoof ball last weekend. Paul Cook may also have the best player in the division playing for his team. Gary Roberts has been very impressive since signing from Swindon and will be the one for Pompey fans to watch.
For all of Pompey's defensive frailties, they have still shown plenty of guile going forward and should pose Chesterfield some problems at the back. Hopefully we'll get to see Ricky Holmes for more than just a few minutes so we can see what he can really do. Expect Andy Barcham and David Connolly to be heavily involved again, too.
There should be plenty of goals in this game. What are the odds on another 2-2 draw?
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Phil SMITH
RB: Yassin MOUTAOUAKIL
CB: Sonny BRADLEY
CB: Joe DEVERA
LB: Danny EAST
RM: Jed WALLACE
CM: Simon FERRY
CM: Romain PADOVANI
LM: Andy BARCHAM
CF: Patrick AGYEMANG
CF: David CONNOLLY
GK: Tommy LEE
RB: Drew TALBOT
CB: Sam HIRD
CB: Liam COOPER
LB: Nathan SMITH
RM: Jay O'SHEA
CM: Sam MORSY
CM: Jimmy RYAN
CM: Gary ROBERTS
LM: Ritchie HUMPHREYS
CF: Marc RICHARDS
Last Time: Portsmouth 4 Chesterfield 0 (Division Three - 23/04/1983)
Two goals from Kevin Dillon and one each from Alan Rogers and Alan Biley saw off the sorry Spireites and began a late run of form in the league that saw Pompey crowned champions of Division Three with 91 points. Chesterfield finished bottom and were relegated with a measly 37 points.
Our full backs will probably struggle and Smith may well make another costly error but I still fancy our forward players to cause plenty of problems. Should be an entertaining game but it's too close to call.
Portsmouth 2 Chesterfield 2
Source: Fratton Faithful
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