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Walsall vs Portsmouth Preview

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03 Jan 2013 22:30:06

Walsall vs Portsmouth Preview

Can Pompey win for the first time in 14 games live on TV?

Portsmouth make the journey to the midlands in a bid to halt a winless run in League One that now stretches to thirteen games.

Team News

Paul Benson returns to the squad after being unable to face his parent club and its likely he will replace Ashley Harris in the starting line up. Brian Howard, Gabor Gyepes and Ricardo Rocha all look set to miss out again due to injury.

Former Pompey youth Florent Cuvelier will miss this game for Walsall with a hamstring injury which is now being treated back at parent club Stoke. Andy Taylor is also missing with a groin strain.

The Match

With Pompey televised on Sky the people of the whole world can see just how bad we are tomorrow evening if they really have nothing better to do.

In truth, Pompey played fairly well at Swindon for an hour and the 5-0 scoreline was worse than the actual performance suggests. However, Walsall are improving having looked like prime relegation fodder a month ago and will fancy themselves against a ragged back four which lacks the leadership and ability of Gyepes and Rocha.

Still, this is football and for that reason alone there is a chance that Pompey may get a result at the Bescot Stadium. It wasn't long ago that Hartlepool won at table topping Sheffield United and who would have predicted QPR to win at Stamford Bridge yesterday?

This month looks like getting worse with player exits inevitable so it would be nice to have something to cheer about for once and lift the mood a little as the all-important court case gets ever closer.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Walsall

GK: Karl DARLOW

RB: Ben PURKISS

CB: Andy BUTLER

CB: Paul DOWNING

LB: Malvind BENNING

CM: James BAXENDALE

CM: Adam CHAMBERS

CM: Sam MANTOM

RWF: Jamie PATERSON

LWF: Febian BRANDY

CF: Will GRIGG

Pompey

GK: Simon EASTWOOD

RB: Mustapha DUMBUYA

CB: Lubomir MICHALIK

CB: Johnny ERTL

LB: Adam WEBSTER

RM: Scott ALLAN

CM: Darel RUSSELL

CM: Lee WILLIAMSON

CM: Liam WALKER

LM: Jon HARLEY

CF: Paul BENSON

Last Time: Walsall 1 Portsmouth 2 (Division One - 03/04/2003)

Kevin Harper's strike and Svetoslav Todorov's header put Pompey in a comfortable position in this game. Junior pulled one back on the stroke of half time to make the second half nervy.

Paul Merson missed a sitter as the Saddlers piled on the pressure but Pompey held on for the win and knocked Leicester off the top of Division One to re-take top spot as the race for promotion entered its final stage.

My Prediction

More suffering. It's hard to make a case for anything other than another defeat.

Walsall 2 Portsmouth 0

Source: Fratton Faithful


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