Portsmouth vs Hartlepool Preview
An epic battle of the bottom two commences Saturday afternoon.
23rd meets 24th in League One with Pompey looking to finally get back to winning against the division's worst team.
James Keene and Shaun Cooper could make their second debuts in a Portsmouth shirt whilst Yassin Moutaouakil, Sam Sodje, Frankie Sutherland and Adam Reed could all make their Pompey bow. Ricardo Rocha and Gabor Gyepes are available for selection after recovering from injury.
Veteran striker Steve Howard is unlikely to feature for Hartlepool after limping out of the 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth on Tuesday. Anthony Sweeney and Jordan Richards are also doubtful.
The visit of League One's bottom team gives this new look Pompey team a half-decent chance of picking up their first win since October 20th. Hartlepool have only taken 13 points from 27 games and are virtually relegated already.
For those that believe that Portsmouth will be joining them in League Two (which is pretty much everyone) then the following piece of information will convince you that there is still something to play for.
Should Portsmouth FC still remain in administration by March 28th and the ten point deduction has not been imposed, then should Pompey be relegated on merit without the deduction then the club will begin next season in League Two on -10 as the deduction will carry over.
So there you have it. Given that this fans' takeover may not well be finalised by the end of March then there could be the motive of starting next season on an even keel to play for for the rest of this season.
This should be an interesting game simply because of the many new faces on show for Pompey. How many of them are going to play and can they galvanise such an ailing side?
There will never be a better chance of winning a game than this one tomorrow. If Pompey can't end the afternoon without taking all three points then we may as well abandon all hope now.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Simon EASTWOOD
RB: Yassin MOUTAOUAKIL
CB: Ricardo ROCHA
CB: Gabor GYEPES
LB: Adam WEBSTER
RM: Johnny ERTL
CM: Adam REED
CM: Darel RUSSELL
LM: Frankie SUTHERLAND
CF: James KEENE
CF: David CONNOLLY
GK: Scott FLINDERS
RB: Jordan RICHARDS
CB: Evan HORWOOD
CB: Sam COLLINS
LB: Jack BALDWIN
RM: Jonathan FRANKS
CM: Antony SWEENEY
CM: Ritchie HUMPHREYS
LM: Simon WALTON
CF: Steve HOWARD
CF: Charlie WYKE
Last Time: Portsmouth 2 Hartlepool United 1 (Division Four - 03/11/1979)
Colin Garwood and Terry Brisley were the scorers for Pompey as Frank Burrows's men edged a win over the same team they thrashed on the opening day of the season.
A refreshed Pompey side that is no longer dogged by some of the characters dragging it down should have enough to defeat the worst team in the league. Just.
Portsmouth 2 Hartlepool United 1
Source: Fratton Faithful
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