Portsmouth vs Scunthorpe Preview
Whittingham faces arguably the biggest match of his managerial career.
After two abysmal showings at Newport and Wimbledon, Guy Whittingham desperately needs a win over managerless Scunthorpe at Fratton Park with his own job at risk.
Dan Potts is set to make his debut at left back for Pompey who are definitely without the injured Therry Racon and Romain Padovani whilst Patrick Agyemang and Ryan Bird are also unlikely to be fit for the match.
Deon Burton, now 37-years-old, is likely to start against his former club.
Guy Whittingham may have been given the dreaded "vote of confidence" but anyone who witnessed the woeful performances at Rodney Parade or Kingsmeadow knows that he will be under severe pressure.
Pompey were booed off by 800-odd fans after the Wimbledon performance and a similar showing on Saturday will surely see 15,000+ angry fans call for the board to follow Scunthorpe's suit after they sacked Brian Laws after a midweek defeat to non-league rivals Grimsby in the FA Cup.
Still, if there was ever a time for Portsmouth supporters to get behind their team and their manager it would be now, but the players have got to produce a performance worthy of such support.
Whittingham has plenty of injury problems ahead of Saturday's game, especially up front with both Agyemang and Bird unlikely to be fit and Connolly and Craddock not at 100% either. It's possible that the Pompey manager may revert to the 4-4-1-1 formation that served him fairly well earlier in the season, with either Wallace or Holmes playing behind the lone striker.
It'll be interesting to see how Potts performs on his debut given how highly rated he is by West Ham fans. Danny East will likely drop to the bench to accomodate him with either Joe Devera or Yassin Moutaouakil playing at right back.
However, it is the centre backs that haven't been playing too well recently. Sonny Bradley's form has dipped as has Bondz N'Gala's but there will no better opportunity for them to return to form against a Scunthorpe side which has struggled to score goals.
Scoring goals will likely be a problem for Pompey too having barely created any scoring opportunities in the last few games. This game is likely to be a very scrappy affair but the most important thing is the players actually give it everything they have unlike the previous week.
If they don't, you would have to fear for Guy's future as manager of Portsmouth Football Club.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Trevor CARSON
RB: Joe DEVERA
CB: Sonny BRADLEY
CB: Bondz N'GALA
LB: Dan POTTS
RM: Ricky HOLMES
CM: Johnny ERTL
CM: Simon FERRY
LM: Andy BARCHAM
AM: Jed WALLACE
CF: David CONNOLLY
GK: Sam SLOCOMBE
RB: Christian RIBIERO
CB: David MIRFIN
CB: Niall CANAVAN
LB: Andy DAWSON
RM: Terry HAWKRIDGE
CM: Michael COLLINS
CM: Sean McALLISTER
LM: Etienne ESAJAS
CF: Sam WINNALL
CF: Deon BURTON
Last Time: Portsmouth 2 Scunthorpe United 1 (League One - 29/09/2012)
Leon Clarke gave the Iron an early lead but Pompey hit straight back when Gabor Gyepes blasted in an equaliser from close range.
Brian Howard's penalty at the end of the first half was saved by James Severn but it wasn't until the 89th minute when Michael Appleton's side won the game after Wes Thomas bundled the ball in from two yards on his debut.
Both teams have been terrible recently and so this is likely to be a tight, cagey affair with neither team wanting to lose in a game of poor quality.
Portsmouth 0 Scunthorpe United 0
Source: Fratton Faithful
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