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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Pompey vs. Blackburn Rovers

Fratton

27/4/08

13:30

On Sky

Pompey v Rovers

Pompey entertain the only other winners of the Premiership outside the usual top four, a feat indeed, but they are now a par side for ourselves.

Vital Quotes:

A comment by Steve Coppell caught my eye this week, he pointed out that if this was Reading's first season in the Premiership, people would be saying they had a right go at staying up, as its their second and after a stormer last year, it is looked at as failure. He rightly points out that teams like Reading are punching above their weight in terms of infrastructure. After comparing their set-up and our own, I couldn't help but think Pompey are a bit of a fly-weight knocking out the heavies.
Back to the game, and this would have been a battl;e for Europe a couple of weeks ago, Blackburn look too far on the fringes now though, but although only winning one of their last 6 games, they have drawn another 3, making them a hard side to beat.

Pompey Team News:

Hreidarsson is suspended after his misdemeanour last week, but this should be offset by the return of Glen Johnson to the fray, allowing Lauren to switch to the left, or Aubey to step in.
The midfield seems to remain the same week in, week out these days, but you never know, Diop having been shown his stats in front of goal this week, may just keep one under the crossbar, rather launching it at Fratton station.
Utaka made a goalscoring return last week, and he has gone on record as saying now is the time for him to deliver, brave words, and if he was to fulfill them we would have one hell of an asset.
Up front in will be Defoe +1, Kanu and Baros look like scrapping it out to partner him, it all depends if Harry wants to risk his talismanic Nigerian before the Battle of Britain at Wembley in 3 weeks.

Player to watch: James

He's made a couple of ricks in the last couple of weeks, a solid performance from him normally results in 3 points for Pompey, so best foot forward Jamo.

Blackburn Rovers Team News:

Brad Friedel had an absolute stormer last week against United, and he will be the man to beat again tomorrow.
One time Pompey target Nelsen and Samba are the line in front of the Yank, while Bentley is the architect in midfield.
Mark Hughes will probably stick with the same 11 that performed well against Man U last week, so Matt Derbyshire will have to wait for another chance upfront.

Player to watch: Bentley

He's a bit mouthy in the press for my liking, he always seems to have an opinion, but he is a flair player no doubt, there is talk of big money to be offered on him in the summer, hopefully his value won't soar tomorrow.

Match Facts & Stats

3-0 last season, could have been worse for Rovers, but Kanu turned down the chance of hat-trick by fluffing his penalty. But in the Premiership, that remains our only success at Fratton over the Rovers.

Ref Watch:

Clive Thomas

Match Prediction:

Pompey's reliable defence went awol last week, a return to form this week? Blackburn have already left Fratton successful this term also, a 2-1 defeat in the League cup is surely enough incentive for some payback, but place your guess here.

Next Fixtures:

Boro up North in our last away fixture.




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The Journalist

Writer: paultsmouth Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday April 26 2008

Time: 9:57PM

Your Comments

" battl;e for Europe" - mistakes creeping into the articles...(i claim credit for starting the trend in the "know thine enemy" article;-) )...anyway, sorry about that, i really do agree, pompey are punching so far above there weight, i think that we have all but for gotten how much we do weigh! our facilities must rank somewhere down in league 1...roughly...
pompeycarpet
either way, i think it will be kanu starting, baros on the bench, as i have a feeling harry is starting to give up on baros, and nugent is ill, or has a "bash" or something pathetic like that, so we are saving him for the final... Utaka will be our "attacking" player to watch, in what will probably be a game involving too good keepers, and not a lot else...
pompeycarpet
Utaka has lots and lots and lots to prove to the Fratton Faithful. Time to start delivering in terms of effort John, or else you are of no use to us.
pompey4me
It should be you guys, not someone like Blackburn, in Europe! Good luck with both this game and the cup! :)
Lou the Gunneress
Cheers Lou, not being nice to us just because you want a cheap price on Kranjcar are ya ;)... Anyway, I'm hoping for a good game and a Pompey victory to at least secure a better placing than last season and it'll be good to hit 60 points. Yep, 'The Torpedo' has something to prove and I hope he is as good as his words and a goal today will start to convince us .... Kanu and Defoe to start up front but expect to see Baros at some stage... I'm going to a 3-1 Pompey win but then what do I know .. I've been wrong most of the year !
Chix
A lot of players have a lot to prove before Cup Final day. The back four need to sort themselves out, midfield sees places up for grabs and the same up front. Diop, Muntari, Utaka, Baros and Kanu probably all have plenty to prove.
eastneydave
A very interesting game. BB can't really achieve much more than they have this season. We should see a backlash from last weeks game at Man City. Whatever happens it won't make or break our season bit winning & getting 60pts would be fantastic.
storagematt
60 pts would be a hell of an achievement, and a new benchmark, we have really kicked on and have set standards to reach again now.
paultsmouth
we should expect a clean sheet from the defence, and a strong performance from everyone else - and i dont expect blackburn to put up much of a fight...which is why i reckon we will get ovcer confident, and loose...
pompeycarpet
blackburn are a quality side but i still feel we'll shade this one 2-1 i reckon... seeing players - utaka and many others - proving something today is also something that i want to see.
pompeyrug
 

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