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Portsmouth vs Doncaster Preview

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21 Oct 2011 20:21:55

Portsmouth vs Doncaster Preview

Pompey look to get back to winning ways at home.

Pompey take on Doncaster tomorrow looking for a win ahead of a new manager being appointed.

Team News

Dave Kitson is set to start again with Benjani struggling with the hamstring he suffered against Barnsley on Saturday but Erik Huseklepp will be looking to start after being left on the bench at Ipswich on Tuesday.

Chris Kirkland's loan deal with Doncaster was ended prematurely after he was hit with a recurring back injury and so Neil Sullivan is likely to return in goal. James O'Connor is doubtful after picking up a toe injury so Pascal Chimbonda will deputise.

The Match

The signs have been encouraging since Stuart Gray and Guy Whittingham took temporary charge of the team last week. The second half performance last week against Barnsley was arguably the best half of football Pompey have produced all season whilst the performance at Ipswich should have seen their team come away with at least a draw.

Dean Saunders showed what a new manager can do for a team with his side taking seven points from nine under his stewardship but things have gone wrong since then with Rovers suffering two defeats on the trot.

With our opposition sitting second bottom of the Championship, it is imperative that Pompey win this game as to not get dragged even further down the table as they currently sit in 18th place.

I'm confident Pompey can win if they play with the freedom they have done since Steve Cotterill's departure. Dave Kitson had a veiled dig at the ex-manager during the week, claiming the team were more united and played without pressure and without feeling restricted.

So if he, and his team mates have their shooting boots on then I can see no reason why Doncaster can't be put to the sword tomorrow. The defence should be solid enough to keep Billy Sharp in check, so it's just a case of our players taking their chances.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Pompey

GK: Stephen HENDERSON

RB: Greg HALFORD

CB: Ricardo ROCHA

CB: Jason PEARCE

LB: Tal BEN-HAIM

RM: Liam LAWRENCE

CM: David NORRIS

CM: Hayden MULLINS

LM: Erik HUSEKLEPP

CF: Luke VARNEY

CF: Dave KITSON

Doncaster

GK: Neil SULLIVAN

RB: Pascal CHIMBONDA

CB: George FRIEND

CB: Sam HIRD

LB: Herita ILUNGA

RM: Giles BARNES

CM: John OSTER

CM: Brian STOCK

CM: Mark WILSON

LM: Kyle BENNETT

CF: Billy SHARP

Click here for the Fratton Faithful Doncaster Rovers Championship Profile page.

Last Time: Portsmouth 2 Doncaster Rovers 3 (Championship - 13/11/2010)

Pompey suffered a dreadful first half as James Hayter tapped in an early goal and James Coppinger lobbed an onrushing Jamie Ashdown to give Sean O'Driscoll's men the lead.

The second half saw a much improved performance as Ward tapped in Utaka's cross to pull one back and Nugent grabbed an equaliser as the ball bounced off his back.

It would look like Pompey would go on to win the game follwing heavy pressure on Neil Sullivan's goal but David Healy smashed in the winner ten minutes from time as Carl Dickinson was sent off for a nasty challenge on Hayter late on.

My Prediction

I think Pompey will ultimately have too much quality for Doncaster on the day and will earn a much needed three points.

Portsmouth 2 Doncaster Rovers 0


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