North End v Pompey
Deepest of Dales
Another 2 Premiership sides have crashed out, and 2 of the bigger ones as well, Liverpool and Arsenal won't have a trip to Wembley way this year, can Pompey come through their Goliaths battle with David unscathed?
All the signs are that Pompey will be taking the challenge of Preston VERY seriously. Liverpool tinkered and paid the price to Barnsley, but Harry has promised no such underestimating from the blues.
There has been a lot of talk of omens this season, last time we beat Preston in the cup we won the lot, Diarra has yet to face defeat in a cup-tie in Britain. But it is all about how we perform on the day, that and how lucky you are, if you are to make the final. 69 years is a bloody long time though!
Preston Team News:
Sean St.Ledger the man with a horses name will miss out this one out, he is suspended, Mawene is hoping to step in. Neil Mellor the ex-Liverpool striker is hoping for a promotion from the bench, as is Richard Chaplow.
New 'keeper Szamotulski is in the wings waiting for a debut.
Player to watch: Ormerod
Ormerod has been around for years now, he has a pedigree in the cup, featuring for a team in red&white stripes in the final against Arsenal in 2003. He will be up for this one no doubt, its up to Pompey to keep him in his place on the day.
Pompey Team News:
Its an embarrassment of riches for Harry Redknapp again. All Africans are available for selection, only Defoe and Nugent look likely to miss out, the little one is cup-tied, and Nugent unlikely to figure after hernia surgery, this will hurt Nugent after his time at Preston, but he has an outside chance of the bench.
Distin should be fit to resume after hamstring trouble, this has come at a great time with Pamarot suffering medial ligament trouble at Bolton.
Aubrey turned in a fine performance at left-back when called upon, and he will contest Hreidarsson for the left-back spot. Glen Johnson should also return after missing the Bolton encounter for something trivial like fatherhood.
Player to watch: Baros
He has yet to hit the heights, Today may be the platform to showcase his talents, with lucky charm Diarra in the side, who knows what will happen?
Match Facts & Stats
1939, Pompey knocked out the then mighty P.N.E. in the quarters, the rest thay say is history, ancient history! For those supporting nowadays, 1992 was the nearest we have come since, time for another assault I say.
Then there were 4. Chelsea and Man U have already safely negotiated it through to the Quarter-final stage, can Middlesbrough and more significantly Pompey join them?
Roy Keanes Sunderland make the trip to Fratton looking to do the double over Pompey (Yes, really!)