Opponents in focus - Hull
Another of the sides that joined us in being relegated last season were Hull, who ended their tenure in the top flight after a couple of years - again they were another of those sides that many would argue were not actually that much better than us, if they even were, despite what the table suggests.
Hull were also another, of a small minority, of clubs that wee unable to beat us last season - we drew at The KC and did them at the death at Fratton.
The overall total of the games played over the years sees Pompey holding a 19-11 advantage with there also being 20 draws.
At Fratton is it 11-3 in our favour with 11 draws, away from home, be that at Boothferry Park or The KC, Hull hold a slender 8-7 advantage. Although there has also been one game played on neutral turf, which Pompey won.
In terms of goals scored it is 75-67 in our favour with the biggest Pompey win a 5-1 at Fratton in 1990/91. Hull have also beaten us 5-1, this came at Boothferry Park in 1972/93.
I would imagine that the Fratton faithful will be unhappy that Iain Dowie in no longer their manager, and as Phil 'Tango Man' Brown is no longer on gardening leave there is a new man at the helm now - although Nigel Pearson, who left Milan Mandaric's Leicester, will get the 'scummer' abuse due to his previous as their manager, where he once kept them up on the final day of the season only to lose his job!
The decks are clearing at Hull as they are also falling on hard times; some money has been saved by releasing, or selling, some higher earners. I know that Dowie started introducing some youngsters into their side at the end of last season so these could have a big role to play this season, and in the future. Experienced campaigners like Nicky Barmby could also play a big part for them this season.
Pearson will bring his side to Fratton on October 23rd, and if this fixture follows the recent trend of the past couple of meetings at Fratton we 'should' be in for a treat as they have seen goals, and some fantastic ones at times at that - remember Glen Johnson and Jamie O'Hara's goals from the past couple of seasons.
The flip side has seen two dour 0-0's at The KC. I would say probably the worst games I have ever seen! At least I saw Danielle Lloyd a few rows back from me last season, so every cloud and all that...
One thing that I do look forward to - as I hope to make it 3rd time lucky for a good game at The KC, which as new stadiums go is not too bad - is the working mans type club about 10 minutes walk from the ground. You get decent, and best of all cheap, beer with a good mix of home and away fans. Here is hoping that Monday 3rd January 2010 is a good one, and a trek worth making in the New Year!
Opponents in focus: Barnsley FC - here.
Opponents in focus: Bristol City - here.
Opponents in focus: Burnley - here.
Opponents in focus: Cardiff - here.
Opponents in focus: Coventry - here.
Opponents in focus: Crystal Palace - here.
Opponents in focus: Derby - here.
Opponents in focus: Doncaster - here.