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Pompey handed injury boost

The new season is just a few days away now and Pompey have received the very good news that John Utaka, Gary O'Neil and Benjani should all be fit for the weekend, although Niko Kranjcar is a doubt.

Utaka picked up his ankle injury in the pre season game with Bournemouth and it was thought that he might miss out, but he is training again, as are O'Neil and Benjani after minor thigh and hamstring problems respectively - so all 3 are highly likely to be part of the matchday squad this Saturday.

The downside though is Kranjcar's foot injury, also picked up against Bournemouth, is likely to see him miss out. Personally my thinking is he would not have started the match with Derby anyway?

It was hoped that Linvoy Primus would have recovered in time for the seasons opener, but he is still a couple of weeks away from retuning to full training - although he is recovering well from his summer knee surgery.

Things are starting to fall nicely into place as the anticipation grows ahead of what promises to be a very special season for Pompey - some odds of 6/1 that I have heard of for Pompey to finish in the top 6 seem to suggest even the bookies think we are in for an impressive season, so they do not want to give too much away!

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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday August 8 2007

Time: 5:27PM

Your Comments

I would have prefered Kranjcar to have been fit, i think he would have taken part in the game as HR as continually stated he thinks this is his year, Utaka has not had too much of a pre-season really. i was thinking about the vote and we are all talking about the born again LuaLua and golden nugget Nugent ( me included), but i have a nagging feeling those who went for Benji may just be shrewd buggers.
russellm
I wouldn't of been suprised if Kranky started against Derby (but of course he's injured).
Lysimachus
i still have this feeling that kranjcar wouldnt have started the match... im sure he would have played a part but i think it would have been from the bench, which is also where utaka will start i reckon? i still have not put in my prediction in the prediction lge for derby - click here to put forward you predictions for that match - but i think i will be doing that tonight and benji will be one of my goalscorers i think, but he too will start from the bench.
pompeyrug
The squad as it stands is as good as it has ever been, with quality in depth. Getting on the bench will be an achivement at times.
storagematt
Kranky will probably start on the bench more often than not, he will be a player who suffers because of his versatility, he can play Centre midfield, Left and Right midfield, up front or just behind the striker/s, i think the best for him this week was the bench, but he will be avital squad member. Glad that Utaka is fit when you dont see them for a while you think of Mseumba dont you!!
Owenspompey
i thought utaka and krunchie would start on the bench, so it is a shame that he is still injured. Im going to put my prediction in a little lator, when i know more about our starting XI, as in the practice, i ...lets just say "messed up" with my goal scorers... I am REALLy looking forwatd to the season, so much so, that i have pursuaded myself i would be dissopointed if we missed out n top 6. What madness is this??? I should be grateful for top 10!!!
pompeycarpet
I think Krancjar will start quite a lot, he is begining to show his quality and at the end of last season was proving to be a real handfull, i dont have any reason to doubt HR's words that he is very much in HR's thinking. We are starting to get players in the midfield who are possibly a class above a lot of what we have got and for me anyway when it comes to mid field class Krancjar along with Muntari and Mendes really stick out. I dont discount Gary O or Matty Taylor but they wont play the balls like the other three.
russellm
im beggining to think that a 4-3-3 formation would be quite fun, with the midfielders that we have, although it would never happen. Whilst mattys passing ability could be improved, he has one of the nastiest shots in the premeirship. I wouldnt be surprised though, if we saw him moving back to left back ocasionaly, with kranjcar coming in to left midfield...
pompeycarpet
The only problem carpet is that Krunchy tends to drift inside when he plays on the left, whereas Matty plays out there naturally. I reckon Krunchy is a real talent and deserves a go, but he appears to be another versatile player who can give us a number of options.
Owenspompey
i too think kranjcar is going to start alot of matches this season, he is the berkovic that 'arry had at west ham and occassionally here - he will give him license to rome and do what he wants, which is how he will be most affective, playing him on the left could see us exposed as he does like to wonder infield.
pompeyrug
The squad sounds good enough to administer a 'warm welcome' to the mighty Rams. 'Arry better not play one up front though or I'll lose the will to live before the season even kicks off! :)
Tantona
No not one up front, we would be fuming if he reverted to that sort of tactic, dont be shy Harry go for it.
Owenspompey
It would be an injustice to the squad we have if we were to play 1 up front, and a compliment that the rams do not need. Lets go all out for a good solid victory, and hope that the points go the way of the talent.
pompeycarpet
Even Lawro picks us to win away. Not that that is a good sign, perhaps acknowledgement.
pompeygray
apparently Kranjcar has bust his foot and will be out a month
paultsmouth
yep, but i think that month will have included a week or so of pre season wont it, as he injured it against the cherries didnt he, so i am hoping that we are only looked at 2 or 3 weeks max of prem football?
pompeyrug
 

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