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Premiership Preview (13/05/07)

Pompey welcome Arsenal to Fratton in our final Barclays Premiership match of the season, as another campaign draws to a halt. What about the other fixtures.

Sunday, 13/05/07
Blackburn v Reading
Former Pompey loanee Jason Roberts (suspension) is out after a midweek red card so Matt Derbyshire or Shabani Nonda stand by to fill in. David Dunn (thigh) is a doubt while Zurab Khizanishvili, Robbie Savage and Steven Reid remain unavailable.

Steve Sidwell would not agree a new deal so will miss out on a farewell performance. Former Pompey target Greg Halford (foot) is available but Glen Little (Achilles), Graeme Murty (calf), Bobby Convey (knee) and Ibrahima Sonko (knee) miss out.

What they play for: Blackburn will gain the intertoto spot if Bolton remain in the top 7. A Reading win could see them replace Bolton in 7th, maybe finishing as high as 5th.

Bolton v Aston Villa
Abdoulaye Faye and Tal Ben Haim are expected to be fit but El Hadji Diouf (hamstring), Nicky Hunt (calf) and Joey O'Brien (knee) miss out.

Stilian Petrov (hamstring) and Shaun Maloney (ankle) are doubts so Villa are likely to stick with the same side as they look to make it 9 unbeaten.

What they play for: A Bolton win secures a Uefa Cup spot with a 7th place finish the minimum as a result. A Bolton draw or defeat coupled with a Pompey win and if Reading fail to win and we take 7th, Bolton would then have to compete in the intertoto cup. Villa are just looking to finish as high as possible, 11th is secured but they could finish 10th.

Chelsea v Everton
Didier Drogba (ankle) could return after injury, although he may be saved for the FA cup final. Arjen Robben, Andriy Shevchenko, Michael Ballack, Ricardo Carvalho and Scott Sinclair are all out injured.

Andrew Johnson (ankle) could play a part but it is unlikely. James Vaughan and Victor Anichebe should start in an unchanged team to that which beat Pompey 3-0 last weekend.

What they play for: Chelsea are assured of 2nd place but won't want to finish any further than the 7 points behind they currently are, plus they have the monstrous unbeaten home record in the league to defend. Everton are assured of Uefa Cup football whatever happens but victory would secure 5th spot.

Liverpool v Charlton
Robbie Fowler and Jerzy Dudek makes their Liverpool farewells, although Dudek looks like he will have to wave from the stands because of a groin injury. With Jose Reina (shoulder) a doubt Daniele Padelli is inline for his debut.

With Scott Carson (ineligible) under the terms of his loan from Liverpool Darren Randolph will make his debut. Ben Thatcher (suspension - again) returns but Talal El Karkouri is injured.

What they play for: A Liverpool victory will secure 3rd unless Arsenal hammer Pompey - which is unlikely! Charlton are already relegated but could finish 18th, as opposed to 19th.

Man Utd v West Ham
United will name a strong side but Cristiano Ronaldo or Wayne Rooney will start from the bench as Alan Smith stands in.

Carlos Tevez is likely to play his last West Ham match whatever the outcome, with the Hammers having no fresh major injury worries.

What they play for: United are champions whatever the outcome, but would like to extend their winning margin. West Ham only need a point to stay up but defeat and a Wigan win will see them relegated.

Middlesbrough v Fulham
Jonathan Woodgate (knee) requires surgery but is expected to play anyway. Robert Huth and Andrew Taylor (both injured) are out though. Mark Viduka and Yakubu could play their last matches for Boro as both are being linked with moves, Viduka heavily with Pompey and Harry Redknapp said to be keen on bringing the Yak back too.

Michael Brown and Papa Bouba Diop (both suspended) are out along with Ian Pearce and striker Vincenzo Montello (both injured) but Franck Queudrue (ankle) is back.

What they play for: Both teams are safe, they are playing merely for extra cash. Boro can't finish any higher than their current position of 12th but could finish as low as14th. Fulham can finish higher than 15th but it is unlikely but could finish as low as 17th.

Sheff Utd v Wigan
Nick Montgomery (shoulder) is a doubt but their only major worry. Usually Sheff United go without a reserve keeper but with so much resting on this match no risk is being taken so Ian Bennett will be named substitute keeper to Paddy Kenny.

Leighton Baines and Arjan de Zeeuw require fitness checks so former Pompey man David Unsworth is on standby to face the team he started the season with.

What they play for: Premiership survival! A Sheff United win guarantees a second season in the top flight and they could finish 15th. Anything other than a Wigan win and they are down. If Wigan win and West Ham lose, West Ham go down. If Wigan win and West Ham win or draw Sheff United go down.

Tottenham v Man City
Jermaine Jenas (back spasms) could return but Ricardo Rocha, Mido, Young-Pyo Lee and Steed Malbranque are doubtful after injuries.

Stephen Jordan is in line for his final City appearance as Michael Ball is suspended. Micah Richards (injured) and Joey Barton (banned) are out so Michael Johnson is set to start again.

What they play for: Spurs need a point to point to secure Uefa Cup football and this point could see them finish 5th, they can finish as low as 8th - this would give them an intertoto cup place, but would realistically finish only as low as 7th. City are virtually assured of 14th but could finish 12th.

Watford v Newcastle
Adrian Mariappa and Tamas Priskin are likely to come in as Jay DeMerit and Hameur Bouazza are out. Clarke Carlisle (suspension) returns but Ben Foster plays his final game for Watford before returning to United.

Scott Parker (hernia) and Damien Duff (foot) are out injured, with the pair having surgery on their problems.

What they play for: Watford play for pride, no matter what they finish bottom but victory would give them 30 points. Victory, maybe even a point could see Newcastle finish 12th but they are virtually assured of 13th at least.

PLAY UP POMPEY!




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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday May 13 2007

Time: 11:15AM

Your Comments

5 live about about 11 ish this morning Alyson Rudd was doing her football report and she said that for the past three weeks she has been speaking to Pompey and the other UEFA challengers. She said "only Blackburn and spurs were really up for it and she was amazed and disappointed" at the complete lack of intrest shown by our club and Reading for the competition. She said "Pompey were moaning about how much it would cost and that unless they got to the semi final it wasnt worth it". So those of us who have voiced our disappointment and failure to understand why the club had commited to the HK trip so early may possibly just have got our answer.
russellm
but i cant reconcile it with Harry wanting to play in Europe so it could be Ruddy is wrong and it's all part of Harry's cunning plan !!!
russellm
At this stage of the clubs development it would've required a huge investment in players just to have a squad capable of competing on 2 fronts. However if we are prepared to wait a little longer we can evolve the squad gradually into one that is capable of doing us proud. Had we qualified for Europe i'm very much afraid it would've resulted in half arsed attempts in both competitions. Personally i'm happy with the fantastic season we've had, nobody expected to be anywhere near the european places before the season started. Yes we had a disappointing run in the middle but that just proves my point we're not ready yet.
Steve C
go for the win guys and show them what you're made of!
richy23
 

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