Portsmouth vs Scunthorpe United Preview
Will Pompey finally win a league game at home?
After three straight defeats, Pompey are in dire need of a win against Scunthorpe tomorrow if only to lift spirits around the club.
New loan signing from Bournemouth Wes Thomas may start the game if he receives clearance. If so, he will replace Luke Rodgers who is out for at least three weeks with a thigh tear.
Kevin Long has returned to Burnley due to injury which means it is likely that Gabor Gyepes and Lubor Michalik will continue in the centre of defence, although Josh Thompson is pushing for a recall.
Scunthorpe manager Alan Knill is unlikely to change his team after going on a run of four games unbeaten.
Watching Pompey has become a very tedious chore recently and the dreadful performance at Notts County along with the continued off-pitch problems will have probably convinced many fans to stay away tomorrow.
However, this may well be the last time that Pompey fans can go to Fratton Park before Portpin complete a likely takeover of the club, which will see a boycott from some fans. Therefore, this could be the last time some fans go to watch Pompey for one reason or another.
The last thing you want when your team is struggling is to play a team that has hit some form, and that is the case with Scunthorpe.
After a poor start, the Iron are now enjoying a four game unbeaten run which has coincided with the arrival of Leon Clarke on loan from Charlton. The striker has scored in all four games since joining and so will fancy his chances against a leaky Portsmouth defence.
I would personally like to see Liam Walker return to the side and less long ball. It seems like I'm repeating myself but I believe that we have the midfielders to create chances for McLeod and hopefully Thomas, who Bournemouth fans say was "unplayable" at times last season. It seems like he just needs some confidence.
Whether he will get that confidence playing in a team low on morale is another matter. But we need something to happen quickly if another relegation is to be avoided.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Mikkel ANDERSEN
RB: Mustapha DUMBUYA
CB: Lubor MICHALIK
CB: Gabor GYEPES
LB: Jon HARLEY
RM: Lee WILLIAMSON
CM: Darel RUSSELL
CM: Brian HOWARD
LM: Jordan OBITA
CF: Izale McLEOD
CF: Wes THOMAS
GK: Sam SLOCOMBE
RB: Christian RIBIERO
CB: David MIRFIN
CB: Niall CANAVAN
LB: Tom NEWEY
RM: Mark DUFFY
CM: Josh WALKER
CM: David PRUTTON
LM: Jimmy RYAN
CF: Leon CLARKE
CF: Karl HAWLEY
Last Time: Portsmouth 1 Scunthorpe United 0 (Championship - 01/03/2011)
Stubborn Scunthorpe held out for just over an hour before Dave Kitson struck. Aaron Mokoena scored a deflected goal late on to seal a fifth consecutive victory without conceding for Steve Cotterill's men.
Defeat would almost certainly spell relegation to League Two so I think there'll be more effort and Pompey will win by hook or crook,
Portsmouth 1 Scunthorpe United 0
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