Date:Friday March 24 2006
TO OUTGUN THE GUNNERS?
After the euphoria of two wins on the bounce and six much needed points, Pompey return to Fratton Park faced with an in form Arsenal side who have found their stride again after more than one wobble this season.
Pompey have got a mini run going now, but the gunners have also won four on the trot in the Premiership and will be looking to add to that ahead of their champions league match against Italian giants Juventus.
Arsenal will no doubt put up a stern test, but Pompey can look ahead with renewed enthusiasm and vigor that only winning can fuel. In the Premiership Pompey are yet to beat Arsenal, but we can take pride in (most) of the matches we have faced them. This season’s defeat at Highbury and the 5-1 thrashing in the cup apart, we have run them close in tight fought encounters.
Portsmouth will remain unchanged with Harry keeping faith in Benjani. Our record transfer signing for 4 million from Auxere.
Arsenal are expected to name a strong side as they chase fourth spot and a champions league place for next season, so don’t expect too many Pardewesque tinkerings in their line-up.
Sol Campbell made his comeback in the reserves mid-week and may gain a place on the bench, but a starting place may be beyond him just yet, although after last seasons Fratton Park thunderbolt winner he has happy memories of the south coast.
Redknapp has been quoted this week in saying you cannot sit back and let Arsenal play as they will pass you to death, so expect Pompey to come out on the offensive and look to take the game to Arsenal from the first minute, if D’Allesandro can make an early impact and stamp his mark on the game we could be in for a classic!
Liverpool, Man u, now Arsenal? Why not.
Just an afterthought, but they say penalties even themselves out over a season, so after a couple of harsh ones this season, maybe Saturday would be a perfect time to gain our first pen of the season (league cup aside) who would take it is anybodies guess!
Play up Pompey
In response give it to Benjani he might score the follow up!
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