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Swindon vs Portsmouth Preview

31 Dec 2012 17:58:16

Swindon vs Portsmouth Preview

Can 2013 get off to a winning start for Pompey?

Portsmouth begin 2013 with a difficult trip to the County Ground to take on high-flying Swindon Town.

Team News

Izale McLeod has left Portsmouth by mutual consent but new signing David Connolly is set to make his debut as Paul Benson cannot play against his parent club.

Jon Harley should return to the defence after serving a suspension but Gabor Gyepes is still out whilst there are doubts over Ricardo Rocha's fitness after he limped off during the defeat to Yeovil.

Paolo Di Canio's side will be fresh having not played a game since December 21st due to postponements. He is likely to pick the same side that hammered Tranmere 5-0 in their last match.

The Match

2012 has come and gone and good riddance to it. In all honesty, I can't see 2013 starting much better but it would be great to see in the new year with a win, if only to lift spirits.

The half-time whistle on Saturday may well have been the turning point in Pompey's season. With the now departed McLeod and desperately disappointing Howard dropped, the team played with energy and enthusiasm and should have got something from the game.

We can only hope that Guy Whittingham and Andy Awford use that second half display as a catalyst for a good performance and stick with the same team (bar the ineligible Benson) that finished the Yeovil game.

If this Pompey team can reproduce that kind of performance and effort tomorrow then there may be some hope of getting a result at the County Ground, though it will be difficult.

The Robins are probably the best side I've seen play against Pompey this season and are full of attacking threat, especially that of Matt Ritchie who will look to score against his boyhood club once again.

But who knows? The fight shown in that second half against Yeovil has given us a glimmer of hope. If Howard remains dropped, Williamson plays in the centre and Walker can feed the strikers then a repeat performance may well see Pompey upset the odds.

Happy New Year! Or should that be "Happy New Year?"

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Swindon

GK: Wes FODERINGHAM

RB: Nathan THOMPSON

CB: Joe DEVERA

CB: Darren WARD

LB: Alan McCORMACK

RM: Matt RITCHIE

CM: Simon FERRY

CM: Danny HOLLANDS

LM: Raffaele DE VITA

CF: Andy WILLIAMS

CF: Chris MARTIN

Pompey

GK: Simon EASTWOOD

RB: Mustapha DUMBUYA

CB: Ricardo ROCHA

CB: Lubomir MICHALIK

LB: Jon HARLEY

CM: Darel RUSSELL

CM: Lee WILLIAMSON

CM: Liam WALKER

RWF: Ashley HARRIS

LWF: Scott ALLAN

CF: David CONNOLLY

Last Time: Swindon Town 1 Portsmouth 1 (Division One - 26/12/1999)

Steve Claridge scored to earn a draw for Pompey after the home side took the lead in the first half through Chris Hay in this Boxing Day encounter.

My Prediction

There will be plentiful support for Pompey in Wiltshire tomorrow and there is hope of a result. But realistically a fresh, in-form Swindon side should have too much for the Blues.

Swindon Town 3 Portsmouth 1

Source: Fratton Faithful


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