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Everton crucial, not quite defining

The game with Everton at the weekend is potential as close to a 'season defining' fixture as it can be without it not quite - 100% - being make or break whatever way it goes - but it is very close to that, well in my opinion anyway...

Everton are currently in 4th place, 6pts ahead of us so defeat would stretch them to a lead that I do not think we could catch and overturn to be honest, so avoiding defeat is very important to our season, a point would be a good return, all 3 would be fantastic and would well and truly leave us in the European hunt and not for merely a uefa cup place either!

We have one of the best away records in the league, so going to Goodison Park and winning would not surprise me, but they are yet to concede a league goal at home since the turn of the year so this makes the job appear that much harder - but with all due respect to Everton, and the teams they have played they have not really been tested so far in 2008, so if we can be at the top of our game we will provide that stern test, we could then be able can score, and we could win.

I have this feeling it is going to be a cracking game fellas, so it is just as well it is on the box, so those of us that cannot make it up to Merseyside can watch it that way - victory and the dreams of that final champions league place let alone a uefa cup place remain alive, defeat and the champions league dream will remain just that, a dream, but the uefa cup would still be possible, a draw and all bets are still on...

If this fixture is not exactly a season definer then the one with Villa in a couple of weeks almost certainly will be, 'if' we could come away with a return of 6pts from these games then potential the world is our lobster!

If you have not already made your predictions in the Pompey predictions league on this game with Everton do it here.

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday February 27 2008

Time: 7:57AM

Your Comments

It's gonna be a tough one this game and I think the game hinges on Evertons attitude. Knowing how Pompey can hurt them on the break do they (not play for) but settle for a draw as opposed to risk everything to come away with the win or nothing having been hit by Pompey on the break. My guess it that they will play for the three points, they are in a strong position, can cement fourth with a win and also see off our challenge all in one game... BUT .. if their attack breaks down we can hit them with speed and Lescott apart I'm not sure they'll cope .. It's gonna be a cracker and if the real Pompey turn up we can at least get a point... I wouldn't be surprised to see a return to the 4-5-1 with Utaka providing some speed on the right... Hold tight fellas we are in for a ride ...
Chix
yep, I see us 4-5-1 too, but Yak used the left wing well against City and I don't fancy Utaka to do much to stop him if he tries that again - in saying that Glen will be there to cover. It's essential Lassie and Muntari get it together, I think they need to improve as a unit - Muntari is quoted as saying the same thing too.
ChrisW
We've had 10 clean sheets in the last 13, which incidentally is the exact period Phil Jagielka has been in the team. We don't concede many, and with Yakubu we'll always likely to at least nick a goal. I fancy us to beat you, and pretty much guarantee finishing above you. Ideally we'll win and Chelsea lose this weekend to drag them into are little battle. Got a horrible feeling those Norwegians will win the CL again and give up on the league placings.
EvertonMike
This will be as tough as it gets. Away to Everton isn't easy at the best of times. Even last season were stuffed 3-0 in late April. They are flying & we are stuttering. I think we will get more points than last season but even that may not be enough for a euro spot. With Villa at home & Spurs away to come it will be a hard month. We will still be in with a shout at the end of March but will it be a sqeak or a loud bark?
storagematt
It's going to be hard this one lads. I'm going for a close 1-1 draw with both team attacking and will be really pleased with the result. I still think Everton will take 4th spot but hope if we can draw and then beat villa 5th spot looks achievable.
imazav
Yak will have trouble. He won't be able to use his size to get through the defence and he doesn't have the speed. Cahill is a bigger danger. Evertons biggest problem is going to be handling the pace if Defoe gets going and Diarra and Muntari come in behind him.
frattonaussie
storagematt, take a look at the Crystal Balls post in the Portsmouth forum.
ChrisW
Evertonmike, you are doing well no doubts there, but I can't see the form continuing til the end of the season and Yak will probably have a few off games like he always does - good luck in any case.
ChrisW
ChrisW. Saw the forum predictions. I think you're all close to where we may end up. Not sure how you get the fixtures up to do my predictions?
storagematt
Matt, send me your changes against my original predictions and I will upload (as long as there are not too many)... ok?
ChrisW
i dont want to take anything away from everton - and they have been my top for a while now to get 4th, liverpool wont finish 4th, ive said that for most of the season and im sticking to it, 'if' we can hit form between now and the end of the season then we could, everton i think might, villa could and maybe even blackburn could finish 4th - but as much as you have to beat what is in front of you i dont think you have had that stern a challenge recently? ou will several times from here on in, again 'if' we are at our best we could win at the weekend, and if we do then it is very much game on for 4th let alone anything else...
pompeyrug
Its going to be tough, but we do have a good away record. A draw wouldn't be a disaster, but a win would be better! 451 away has served us well, but I'm not sure it suits Defoe?
tracyc
4-5-1 with Defoe would be ok as long as played to the wings first
ChrisW
Why won't yak be able to use his power? he completly bossed dunne and richards, dunne particularily is a big strong lad
EvertonMike
pompey will win this game 100% im very confident *****ed off i wont be able to watch it, but i am 100% we will win but i have no idea about the scoreline
NK19
if sol and more importantly distin are on their game then yak wont get a look in - we kept him quiet at fratton...
pompeyrug
We'll see pompeyrug then i guess, The Yaks all round game is massivly improved now. You may not believe me, but pienaar is our most important player, and now he's back i'm confident we can beat anyone.
EvertonMike
pienaar is a sly player - you can do better than him, re Yak, he always plays well at first then gets lazy
ChrisW
He was poor when he joined (yak) but around christmas and last 2 games he's been immense. Pienaar is total football personfied.
EvertonMike
everton away is one of the hardest fitures to get anything out of (behind man u away...and not many others...) - whilst to get a win, chelsea are really hard, as are liverpool at anfield, and arsenal at ashburton grove. but essentially, if we want anything from this game, we will have to be complety on top of our game. kanu wont start, as he is being saved for man u - so we will probably have 2 up front - but i honestly think we will be out played, out muscled, and beaten (man city fans watching it will get a real sence of de ja vu...)
pompeycarpet
If we are going to get the result we all yearn, the Pompey team and certain individuals will have to perform at a much higher level than of late. If this is the case, all things this season are possible. If not, remember the players who could well move on at the seasons end, will find it difficult to find suitable clubs due to their inconsistant form.
007
Everton are getting a bit too carried away with themselves as EvertonMike demonstrates. Our midfield will gell this Saturday and be too much for the Toffees. 0-1 Pompey. I also don't think Everton have a big enough squad to both continue their european campaign and challenge for 4th spot, a position for which I fancy either ourselves, Villa or Liverpool (even now).
Toronto4Pompey
And this IS a huge game, make no mistake, one that has huge consequences for the season.
Toronto4Pompey
good to see you being so positive pompeycarpet :-) one thing that we really shouldnt be doing is getting out muscled...
pompeyrug
Nothing against Yak but he hasn't got a lot of finess and relies on his strength a lot. Dunne is a strong player but against Pompey every defender is a big strong player not just one of them. They will hold him. Where our defenders have trouble is with faster players and players moving well off the ball. This is where I think Cahil could cause problems and needs to be marked man for man. As TracyC has said this is a six pointer to us if we can win it.
frattonaussie
Toronto4Pompey, as a Villa fan I have to chuckle at your comments.

"I also don't think Everton have a big enough squad to both continue their european campaign and challenge for 4th spot, a position for which I fancy either ourselves, Villa or Liverpool (even now)."

To say that Everton wont get fourth because of the size of their squad and then tip Villa for the position is, frankly, hilarious. I think a big problem with Everton is that teams give them too much credit. They are very strong, with good players, but no better than the teams around them (with the possible exception of Man City). I think there is still a long way to go, and we wont really know who will challenge until later on in the season.
Carlosio
The thing is Carlosio, you lot don't have to worry about europe this year do you ? - and, all told, Villa (IMO) are a much more talented squad overall that Everton. You also have the wily Martin O'Neill who I rate far more highly than Moyes. You're right, there's a lot of games left, but give yourselves some credit mate !
Toronto4Pompey
 

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