Portsmouth vs Notts County Preview
Are Pompey up for the cup?
Four years ago, Portsmouth were the FA Cup winners. Now, they participate in the first round of the the competition for the first time since 1982.
Mikkel Andersen is ruled out parent club Reading do not want him to become cup-tied, and the same is almost certain for West Brom and Watford loanees Scott Allan and Carl Dickinson respectively.
To add injury to insult, Ashley Harris is struggling with an ankle problem so Michael Appleton is likely to only have 15 players available to him tomorrow. The good news is that Brian Howard returns from suspension.
Keith Curle may well rest one or two of his key players with his side having an important game at Colchester on Tuesday.
Like many, I was disappointed when Notts County were pulled out of the hat after Portsmouth were. They're a decent team who have already hammered us earlier in the season and there is no "magic" about this tie at all, especially when so many obscure non-league sides were in the bag.
On the bright side, there's no chance of an embarrassing cup exit at the hands of the likes of Braintree or the Met Police, and at least we're at home with the admission prices slashed.
It's difficult to see us winning this one, especially as Michael Appleton has all but admitted that he doesn't care about the competition as his main focus is to keep Pompey in League One.
The task will be made even more difficult as Simon Eastwood has not been very impressive in his rare outings for the Blues, whilst there will be other problems when it comes to squad selection.
The only motivation here is that if Pompey can get through to the third round then there is the opportunity of a plum tie to boost the finances.
It should be a good game, with both teams looking to attack and neither wanting a replay. Hopefully Pompey can outscore County tomorrow and book a place in the second round.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Simon EASTWOOD
RB: Mustapha DUMBUYA
CB: Gabor GYEPES
CB: Lubomir MICHALIK
LB: Jon HARLEY
RM: Lee WILLIAMSON
CM: Johnny ERTL
CM: Brian HOWARD
LM: Akos BUZSAKY
CF: Luke RODGERS
CF: Izale McLEOD
GK: Bartosz BIALKOWSKI
RB: Julian KELLY
CB: Gary LIDDLE
CB: Dean LEACOCK
LB: Carl REGAN
RM: Jamal CAMPBELL-RYCE
CM: Alan JUDGE
CM: Neal BISHOP
CM: Joss LABADIE
LM: Francois ZOKO
CF: Yoann ARQUIN
Last Time: Portsmouth 2 Notts County 1 (Division One - 13/08/1994)
The opening day of the 1994/1995 season saw Jim Smith's team get off to a winning start thanks to goals from Daryl Powell and Kit Symons.
County are a good team and we have some players missing. At home, we should still be good enough to get a draw and an unwanted replay at Meadow Lane.
Portsmouth 2 Notts County 2
Source: Fratton Faithful
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