Premiership Preview (21-22/10/06)
Pompey are travelling to Chelsea for our latest Barclays Premiership match for what will be (on paper) our toughest challenge so far this season, what about the others...
Aston Villa v Fulham, 17:15
Gavin McCann (calf) is Aston Villa's only major injury concern, although former Pompey midfielder Patrik Berger is struggling for fitness. Having missed the game last weekend Thomas Sorensen should return in goal.
Chris Coleman is boosted by the return of Philippe Christanval (knee), so he is added to the Fulham squad that continues to miss captain Luis Boa Morte, Simon Elliott, Mark Pembridge and Jimmy Bullard.
Charlton v Watford, 15:00
Jerome Thomas having returned to fitness is pushing for a starting place. Souleymane Diawara suffered cramp in Charlton's defeat by Fulham but should play.
Watford have no fresh injury concerns as they enter this massive game. Chris Powell (calf) has fully recovered so has more reason than most to want to return for this game.
Everton v Sheff Utd, 15:00
Tony Hibbert (groin) will miss out this game so Phil Neville will switch to right back. James McFadden and James Beattie are fighting it out to partner Andrew Johnson.
Claude Davis (knee) requires a late fitness test in order to play but it is felt he will make it. It is also hoped that Michael Tonge, Chris Armstrong and Rob Hulse will also overcome minor injuries.
Wigan v Man City, 12:45
Wigan are believed to be set to name the side that lost to Man United last week, although Andy Webster could be called into the squad. David Cotterill, Ryan Taylor and Steve McMillan remain sidelined.
Nicky Weaver (back) should be fit to return although Paul Hart stands in his way. City youngster Ishmael Miller is a doubt with Darius Vassell and DaMarcus Beasley definitely out. Sylvain Distin, Claudio Reyna and Hatem Trabelsi are doubts but have a far better chance than Miller of playing.
Blackburn v Bolton, 15:00
Steven Reid and Ryan Nelsen are definitely out and will be until at least Christmas. Robbie Savage and David Bentley will need fitness checks after picked up knocks in their UEFA Cup win.
With Bolton set to name the same team that beat Newcastle last week only long-term absentees Ricardo Gardner, Henrik Pedersen and Joey O'Brien remain unavailable.
Man Utd v Liverpool, 13:00
Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Gabriel Heinze and Ryan Giggs all return to the squad and should in fact all feature, possibly from the start. Mikael Silvestre and Park Ji-Sung miss out again though.
Steven Gerrard (hamstring) returns from injury for Liverpool in a squad, if not team that should also include Dirk Kuyt, Mohamed Sissoko, Daniel Agger and Robbie Fowler.
Middlesbrough v Newcastle, 15:00
Tony McMahon (broken leg) misses out and the game comes to early for Chris Riggott and Malcolm Christie who are recovering from injuries, Jonathan Woodgate (thigh) does return though.
Celestine Babayaro returns from suspension, with Newcastle requiring fitness checks on stand in goalkeeper Steve Harper as well as midfielder Emre. If Harper misses out former Pompey goalkeeper and retuning St James` goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek could make a third debut for the club.
Reading v Arsenal, 16:00
Ulises de la Cruz looks set to come into the side with Graeme Murty (hamstring) injured and Andre Bikey ruled out through suspension. Bobby Convey (knee) will require a late fitness test to determine whether on not he plays.
Freddie Ljungberg, Emmanuel Eboue and Julio Baptista remain unavailable but Mathieu Flamini and Philippe Senderos return to the squad after injury with Gael Clichy set for his first start this season.
Tottenham v West Ham, 15:00
Illness looks like ruling Didier Zokora out so Tom Huddlestone will again deputise, Mido is available though. It is thought that Ledley King may be rested as he works his way back from injury.
Roy Carroll could be dropped with Robert Green coming in for his West Ham debut and John Pantsil (knee ligaments) is fit again. Carlos Tevez (knee) has also recovered and is back in the squad.