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Portsmouth vs Stevenage Preview
Published : 05 Apr 2013 20:53:15Rss feed
Can Pompey cope without Agyemang?
Pompey look to keep hopes of avoiding a points deduction next season alive when they entertain Stevenage at Fratton Park tomorrow.
Patrick Agyemang cannot feature against his parent club and so Guy Whittingham must decide whether to replace him with Ashley Harris or John Akinde. Jack Maloney should start once again.
Stevenage will be without Greg Tansey who went for a groin operation during the week and Robin Shroot who was stretchered off in the win over Hartlepool on Easter Monday.
The major headline to come from The News today was about Portpin's last throw of the dice to try and gain control of the club after puppet Keith Harris offered to buy Balram Chainrai's charge over Fratton Park for £6.3 million.
It's a desperate attempt to try and scupper the only bid that the Football League will consider and hopefully the court will not consider this ploy so late on in the season with the future of Portsmouth Football Club at stake.
That is set to be decided next week but for now there is a matter of Pompey winning an important football match in an attempt to avoid a points deduction next season should the court rule in the Trust's favour.
Stevenage have had a solid season but Pompey fans can forget any chance of them taking their proverbial foot off the peddle as Graham Westley, the man that took them to League One from the Conference, is back in charge after his ill-fated stint at Preston.
He will ensure his team work extremely hard and make it as difficult as possible to break them down. This task will be made even harder due to the absence of Patrick Agyemang who has been instrumental in Pompey's recent rise.
So, who does Whittingham pick to replace him? If I'm being honest, I don't think too highly of either Akinde or Harris at the moment.
Akinde has the build to give defenders problems but has barely posed a threat in terms of scoring actual goals since he has joined Pompey. Harris has a few to his name but currently there is little more to his game than running around a lot.
It's a tough call but I believe Akinde will get the nod. Hopefully he has the intelligence to read David Connolly's game and form a partnership to penetrate a solid Stevenage defence.
One positive Pompey fans can take going into this match is how solid our defence looks now. Sam Sodje may make way for Ricardo Rocha but if not, he proved last week he is just as able as the Portuguese at keeping the opposition at bay.
I feel that Pompey can win this and only a win will do.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Simon EASTWOOD
RB: Yassin MOUTAOUAKIL
CB: Ricardo ROCHA
CB: Gabor GYEPES
LB: Shaun COOPER
RM: Jed WALLACE
CM: Johnny ERTL
CM: Therry RACON
LM: Jack MALONEY
CF: David CONNOLLY
CF: John AKINDE
GK: Steve ARNOLD
RB: Darius CHARLES
CB: Mark ROBERTS
CB: Bondz N'GALA
LB: David GRAY
RM: Luke FREEMAN
CM: James DUNNE
CM: Anthony GRANT
LM: Lucas AKINS
CF: Dani LOPEZ
CF: Marcus HABER
Despite losing Agyemang, there should still be enough quality in midfield to score a goal or two to ensure that Stevenage fans' first ever visit to Fratton Park is a miserable one.
Portsmouth 2 Stevenage 0
Source: Fratton Faithful
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