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Pompey vs. Guimaraes

Fratton Park



On Sky

Pompey v Guimaraes

Pompey enter the unknown as a team tomorrow night, European football comes to Fratton for the first and hopefully no last time.

Vital Quotes:

Pompey maybe novices as far European football is concerned, but as individuals we have plenty of experience, we have a finalist and Champions league goalscorer as our captain in Sol Campbell, and Peter Crouch is more than familiar with foreign opposition, in fact only Traore of the current back 4 has yet to feature in a European tie.
Until this season, the closet Pompey have come to European was a couple of seasons of Anglo-Italian football donkeys ago, but get past our Portugese oppents and the proper big boy stuff has arrived.

Much has been made of our formation tomorrow rather than personnel, 3-5-2 worked at Everton, while it took the switch to 4-4-2 to overcome 'boro, but with Guimaraes likely to go 4-3-3, I reckon our wing-backs will get another run-out, first half at least.

Pompey Team News:

No new injury worries for the blues, in fact Kanu, Nugent and Little all made come-backs against Arsenal ressies Tuesday night, so the pot is getting fuller to pick from.

Who plays depends on Harry's formation rather than who is fit, Diop and Kaboul both gave way on Saturday, so they are probably the only 2 at threat tomorrow.

Defoe has hit a good vein of form with 3 in his last 2 outings, scoring against foreign opposition will surely give Capello a little more to think about for England.

Player to watch: Crouch

Crouchie has been overshadowed by Defoes exploits in front of goal so far, I get the feeling tomorrow may be his night.

Guimaraes Team News:

Nuno Assis and club captain Flavio are the biggest absentees for Guimaraes, Marquinho and Luis Filipe are also not expected to travel, the Portugese are hardly packed with familar names, but an injury ravaged squad is expected to arrive at Fratton park, damage limitation seems the name of the game as the Portugese are a power house at home and rely heavily on home form for results.

Player to watch: Jean Coral

The young forward gets his chance due to Marquinho's abscence, a big task but names are made on responsibility unexpectedly thrust upon a mans shoulders.

Match Facts & Stats

Nothing to compare, Guimaraes finished 3rd last season at home, Pompey qualified through the cup, we have played each other, er, never!

Ref Watch:

John Pace (L-O-S)

Match Prediction:

A rampant crowd will surely roar Pompey on in front of 5's cameras tomorrow, so surely, surely a Pompey win?

Next Fixtures:

Back down to the nitty-gritty with a trip to the richest Premiership club, no, not Chelsea the other one

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The Journalist

Writer: paultsmouth Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday September 17 2008

Time: 10:08PM

Your Comments

I'm getting the tingles!
Pompey's first game in Europe, but for most of the starting line up, it's more like their 50th game in Europe, we still have a head start. Also, "no, not Chelsea, the other one." Classic!
top class paul! i cannot wait, ive waited my whole life for special moments - and we get them regularly with pompey now dont we...
it will be something very special tomorrow night and im delighted that i will be a part of it!
I am getting so excited! Nearly as excited as the FA Cup Final! More so in some ways, but less in others. The Cup was to win something wheras this is to win the right of passage. I dunno, but cannot wait until I knock off work early anyway!
THis is gonna be kik ass! hopefully they dont get an away goal 1-0 Crouchy!!
we can do it. keep it tight at the back and defoe will do the business up front.
knocking off at 3 today, leaving the site in scum to go to Fratton
Me too Paul .. I'm leaving at 3 .. hope to se some of you in the Milton Arms if traffic, parking and time permits... We're all going on a european tour...a european tour...a european tour...
well weve conceeded quite a bit this season so far so thats a priority as already stated. but looking forward to tonight - gonna be different!
Best of luck tonight, I will be waking up in the small hours to try and find the game online somewhere!!!!!!!PUP
Can't wait. Dream time for the supporters of old. Let's dooooooooooooo it.
Ooooh is getting exciting now! I should be in the MIlton Arms by about half three - four if the traffic is ok.
It's just gonna be awesome...can't wait for kick off...hopefully Pompey can play well & we give it some proper noise
Milton Arms. Yes. I'd kill for a pint, bl00dy long week at work!!!
LETS MAKE SOME NOISE......LETS LET THEM KNOW THEY'VE LANDED IN POMPEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It will be strange to see the ground decked out with UEFA Cup banners etc. but one I pray we will get used too.
This is the Big on for me and i just hope the Forces TV has it on their channel! Not sure though as they seem more inclined to put Setanta Games on! Good luck to the Boys tonight from all of us out here in Iraq!!! PUP!!
gutted I wont be there. coming home this afternoon, I could see pompey fans on the stations - but I honestly couldnt have gone to FP in a suit, and with 3 bags of work and sports stuff... could I?
Just 10 mins to go...Utakas playing -it;s the team from the second half last weelend
No one deserved that goal more than Diarra. He's been brilliant.
Brilliant! What a difference a transfer season makes. Last year we were "lucky" "punching above our weight", this year we are, and i quote, "hardworking" "entertaining" and loads more. Utaka, Belhadj and Diarra got special mentions, oh, I'm getting delerious!! Must go out for a drink now! Byeeee!
so... who said utaka was useless? ok, he wasnt back to his old self - but he stretched there defence, and nearly scored... but belhadj was amazing!
carps, still didnt see that me old buddy. All the fellas around me were giving him stick. You just dont see on tv how little he does off the ball. Doesnt ever give anyone an 'out'. Never moves into space, never gives it a run down the line, for example as Belhadj did for the goal.
Carps, take off those Utaka glasses please! Same as Saturday, No effort, no conviction, 5yd panic passes and others overhit like an elephant with parkinsons (Apologies if that offends anyone)
really wanted glen little to make his debut, he would have done better at right mid than diop or utaka. but who cares? we won, and kept a clean sheet!!!
Utaka did ok, get off his back and give the lad a chance, As for Little if we ever see him play we'll know whether he's up to it or not, personally i think he's like Thomas a panic buy from a championship club. Little didn't even look like doing anything in the pre season game at Havant.
Steve C
Nor the reserve game against Arsenal last Tuesday Steve. I dont think Utaka did 'ok'. he did nothing...again. Just needs to learn that he needs to work off the ball for the good of the team. In fact, needs to learn that he needs to do something with the ball for the good of the team!
Utaka shouldered two players off the ball to keep possession, and I got my hopes up thinking he might be going to really put the work in, but he vanished for the rest of the game, except to pop up and nearly score a goal. Diarra and Belhadj were fantastic, both in quality and workrate. If Utaka could match their workrate, he might have a few more fans.
Utaka popped up defending in the right back spot last night at times, not back to his best but if we support him i'm sure he'll get there. Belhadj without doubt looks the business but as a note of caution everybody was saying that about Utaka this time last year and look how they've all turned on him since. It pains me to see how we all turn on players instead of trying to give them the support that would make it easier for them to get back to their best form. You'll note i said we because I include myself in that category. Utaka has proved he can do it what we need to do now is to remind him of that and build his confidence back up.
Steve C
agree to a degree mate - yep we do need to help utaka, but he must help himself aswell... i do agree tho that at times the fella can do no right no matter what, if he does something good - or does do some tracking back - this isnt remembered but the next time he makes a balls up this is remembered big time...
completely agree - Utaka tracked back well - ok, he didnt work his socks off - but he is still lacking in confidence, and he is definatly improving. Give him a little more time, (to gain his confidence back, rather than settle down) and he will be back to his old self. Belhadj looks the real deal - and I'm confident he will remain that way...well, I hope he will anyway!
Back to his old self????? Didnt think there was an old self to get back to. God, the man tracks back once and all of a sudden he's the hardest working player we got. He tracked back just once, 2nd half. the wife remarked to me about it, I said it is so memorable because he never does it. that was the only time this game too.

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