Vital Football

Pompey at West 'am

West Ham

Upton Park



We head back to London tonight for a rearranged league meeting with West Ham looking to push forward our claims for a 5th place finish.

Last time we were in London I seem to remember us winning some game or another, not that important though I do not think...

Vital Quotes:

We are now 90 minutes away from assured uefa cup football - clearly an FA cup win would mean more than that though.

Yep the FA cup is the priority but I still want us to finish as high in the league as we can - and I have not given up on 5th just yet, but we must win tonight though if we want this.

West Ham Team News:

Teenager Freddie Sears and one time 'reported' Pompey target Bobby Zamora are training as are George McCartney and John Pantsil so all 4 could play a some part.

Freddie Ljungberg is hamstrung so misses out. Pompey old boy Nigel 'the relegator' Quashie is still with the Hammers but is currently out injured apparently and will not return until next season.

Player to watch: Dean Ashton

I have always liked the fella and would have liked him to have signed for us. After a long injury setback, and a few problems since, from what I have seen of him has been pretty good so far so if he plays we need to keep an eye on him.

Pompey Team News:

Jermain Defoe will miss returning to another of his old stomping grounds - as he had Spurs - as he is attending his grandmothers funeral. With Kanu likely to be rested and Milan Baros doubtful with an ankle injury Dave Nugent is pushing for a rare league start - in fact he is pleading for it. If Baros is fit the pair could play alongside each other?

John Utaka's hamstring is not up to it yet so he misses out again and Lassana Diarra has a dead leg, but should be fit.

Player to watch: Dave Nugent

He has looked sharper, fitter and faster since he returned from his injury lay off. Against Wigan he impressed me in his 25 minutes or so and in the 20 minutes at Wembley he did not do that bad either to be honest.

He got some stick for his miss after coming on and the miss at the end, but replays showed - so I am told as I have not seen any yet - that he was taken out as he did shot?

I say give the fella a start, the only way he can try to prove himself and improve his match fitness is with games, and we need this fitness high as he will play some part in the cup final.

Match Facts & Stats

We have a good record against the Hammers. Ok we may be down in terms of overall wins (16-15) but we have not lost to them in the premier league in our 7 previous meeting, winning 5 and drawing 2, winning at West Ham in our 2 previous premier league encounters.

Earlier in the season we drew 0-0 at Fratton when Benji missed an injury time penalty - that still haunts me now as you knew it was going to happen...

Ref Watch:

The man in the middle tonight will be Lee Probert of Gloucestershire.

Match Prediction:

Of course I will be going for a Pompey win - I always do but what do you reckon fellas? Place your bets here.

Next Fixtures:

I will be back up to Pompey for the Geordies visit to Fratton on Saturday, then I will be heading back to Manchester - how sweet that was last time eh! - when we face Citeh the week after.

Date:Tuesday April 8 2008
Time: 10:10AM


A chance for the squad to get a run out. Rest the wounded & weary. Find someone for the right side of midfield, give Nuge 90 mins. The result, well it's not earth shattering whatever happens. As long as they all come back safely. If we don't win another game all season, we will finish 10th at worst. We will of course win a few but everything has to be tweaked to focus on dragon slaying day come May 17th.
08/04/2008 10:37:00
looking forward to it. i like upton park, the nearest thing to Fratton in the premiership. wh 1 pompey 3
The Rabbi
08/04/2008 11:35:00
Good luck Pompey. Hope you win it!
Fan of Blues
08/04/2008 12:10:00
west ham will be fully up for it, we wont. west ham are well rested, we arnt. we are away from home, and without our 2 top scorers (benji and defoe). sure, it is a great oportunity for someone to come in, and maybe make the right midfield theres (mvuemba?) and for nugent - but i cant see us winning this one. WH 1, pompey 0.
08/04/2008 12:17:00
On paper it looks like a golden opportunity for us to put one over on you, but you'll still pull it off I reckon.
08/04/2008 12:45:00
The one thing I think about West Ham that not many people have really noticed is that they have Curbishly disease. I guess he brought it with him from Charlton. Major symptoms are having a promising run of games up to the New Year from the start of the season, before inplausibly inploding and not do anything till the end of the season.
08/04/2008 13:24:00
I recon West Ham will do us. But don't really mind as long as Nugget gets 90min and everyone puts in a good performance. I'll take a draw from this one!
08/04/2008 14:18:00
Not sure how the players are going to be after Saturday's excitement, they might just rollercoaster everything in their path or there might be a bit of a cup hangover - hope its a good game for Nuge, this is another golden opportunity for him. Pity no Defoe, but thats life!
08/04/2008 14:39:00
Definitely an opportunity to give some of the players who haven't been getting games a run out. Kanu isn't going to want to play again so soon, and Defoe is out, so Nugent surely gets a start. But yeah, for me, Sean Davis, Pedro Mendes and one or two others should be given a start too, both to rest some weary players and to get one or two who might be needed up to speed.
08/04/2008 14:50:00
I don't think we have much chance of three points tonight. Teams after winning semis normally hit a bad run and it would be a great sign if we get something. Shame about Defoe but some things are more important that football.
08/04/2008 16:45:00
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