Date:Friday January 9 2009
Tomorrow throws up what is seen in the eyes of the media as a proper 'rags v riches' match, City have a bottomless pit of gold, and Pompey if you are to be believed are scrapping for crumbs at the bottom of the Premiership bin.
First off, Pompey have sold 2 players now for the sum of around £35m, one we will miss as he was sheer quality and forthwright and honest, the other was a selfish turd who is only in it for himself, whatever his new club may envisage.
Back to the football and Pompey face the side who have given us our biggest hiding in many a year this season, this game has proven to be a bit of a flash in the pan though, City are capable of playing great football, but have far often come up short and sit firmly next to us in the table, in fact one point worse off.
Pompey enter the game on the back of 3 straight defeats in the league, our goaless draw against Bristol last week was a welcome diversion from losing aginst opposition we should beat, but frustrated the fans further in what was perceived as a negative line-up.
If all is to told though, we now have players that want to play for Pompey at the club, a mercenary has left, and players such as Crainie have returned and are making all the right noises about playing for the club, he along with Nugent may not be up ther with God-given talent, but won't be found lacking for desire or passion.
Pompey maybe able to welcome back 'new signing' Glen Johnson, contrary to media reports he has committed to Pompey and returned to traing Monday, and lets face it we have missed him.
Diop is as good as out for the season, this has left us very weak in midfield, Hughes injury further adding to the stress point of the side.
Marc Wilson may very well get another go in the centre, Sean Davis will be the anchor and will have to get Arnold Mvuemba step up a gear as well.
Peter Crouch looks like providing a solo fulcrum up front once more, the thing is, is how our midfield/wide men support his hold up play.
Niko started to find a bit of form last week, he is probably our biggest talent and will need to to put on his locksmith coat to provide the passes for our offensive forays against a defence which looks as wobbly as our own.
Good news for Pompey is that Stephen Ireland is banned, he is having the season of his life so far and City will miss his verve.
One time target Wright-Phillips is hamstrung and Robinho is also struggling with a thigh strain. Benjani will also dip out on a return to a ground where he is still much-loved as he struggles for fitness.
One name on the sheet to get Pompey fans 'singing' will be Wayne Bridge, he makes his debut and will now doubt be ready for a warm reception.
Gave Pompey the runaround at Eastlands, and with Robinho likely to miss out takes on the mantle of starman.
Pompey/city games normally mean drama and goals, we had the 4-2 a couple of years back with City hitting the bar 3 times, the Pedro Mendes match, and of course that game in late September.
0-0 anyone? Place your prediction here.
Bristol up next, at Ashton Gate and on Setanta
Date:Friday January 9 2009
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