Date:Sunday August 17 2008
The Premiership kicked off yesterday, Pompey get the chance to catch up at Chelsea today, a ground we have yet to get a point on.
Pompey seem to have attracted a certain amount of doom and gloom in the last couple of weeks, everyone thinks we are skint, Mendes has gone North to balance the books, we might as well prepare for life in the Championship now!
Pompey surpassed expectations last year, first silverware for 50 odd years, top eight and European qualification, not bad really, Newcastle for all their support and millions would kill for it.
Pompey have bought in Peter Crouch over the summer, along with Glen Little, Younes Kaboul and now Jerome Thomas, outwards went Muntari and now Mendes, so how we strengthened or undermined the team?
Chelsea enter their bright new dawn under Scolari with expectations of winning the Premier league again, many bookies make them favourites, and with Lampard and Deco running the midfield with Essien mopping up, they will certainloy have a formidable look about them.
Didier Drogba, a persistent thorn to pompey over the years will be missing with a knee injury, Boswinga is also on the side lines.
Upfront Anelka will be out to keep up his pre-season form, Shaun Wright-Phillips will probably get the chance to show Redknapp what he is missing.
Had a bit of an indifferent season last year, he made a couple of high profile errors after seem infallible before, if Chelsea are to regain the league title, his form will play a huge part.
Upfront we will surely have both Defoe and Crouch, Crouch has a point to prove to Scolari after being dumped from the England squad, a debut goal wouldn't go amiss.
Midfield will be different to that of last week, Mendes' move has forced that, Diop may move over to the centre alongside Diarra allowing Utaka to slot back in on the right, that is of course unless Thomas has had a blinder in training!
Defensively Kaboul will probably have to wait for a little while to break into the centre, Campbell and Distin will hold on to their spots for a while, Hreidarsson can astound everyone again with his youthful outlook on the left for another season.
On the bench maybe interesting, after being embarrassed by a plethora of midfielders, we have lost both Sulley and Pedro, left to force their way in are the supposedly blacklisted Davis and Mvuemba, Thomas hopefull is going to provide the wing-play we crave.
Jamo continues to confound both age and the critics, if we are to break our hoodoo of no wins since 1953, the England number one will have to be on top form.
Well 1953 was the last time we had any success at the Bridge, but its a new manager for Chelsea, how they react remains to be see.
Long time for a win of any form against the other blues, but it was a long wait for an FA cup win as well, place your predictions here.
After the runners up come the Champions at Fratton next Monday
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Date:Sunday August 17 2008
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