Date:Tuesday January 13 2009
Pompey travel West to Bristol tonight, a game we could have avoided if we were a bit more potent 10 days ago, but a game we need to win still nonetheless.
Pompey are the holders of the old pot, so by rights we are the team to beat, last season the cup was won by defeating lower league teams up to the quarter final stage, and Bristol are the obstacle this time.
10 days ago Pompey huffed and puffed somewhat, we kept a clean sheet which thrilled the manager, but we will need to up a gear to get a result at Ashton gate, Bristol are no mugs and will fancy their chances of a 4th round tie against Histon or Swansea.
Bristol will have Jamie McCombe available after stomach trouble, the giant defender was all over Crouch like an octopus at Fratton, his handywork aside he tackled Crouch well and will have to do so again.
Sproule is a doubt with an ankle strain but otherwise the same 11 could be available to Gary Johnson once more, but Nicky Maynard is fit again and should force his way into the line-up.
I nearly went for Elliott, but Jamie McCombe could be the key, he marshalled Crouch well at Fratton, but if the ref is a little less lenient with his holding it may cauce him problems.
Pompey will resemble a polo mint tonight, we have no middle whatsoever!
Sean Davis is the latest to go down, the peoples choice for Captain has a stomach virus and won't be risked.
Mvuemba and Marc Wilson should get the central duties, while we may see the sight many thought we wouldn't again, Glen Johnson at right-back, his drive has been missed and couldn't return sooner.
Crouch may have to fight a lonely furrow up top by himself once more, but Adams may surprise us and throw in Kanu or Nugent to partner him, I suppose a lot will depend on which of the sick and wounded are available.
Tony Adams has stated that this is Arnold's chance, midfield is where we are struggling right now, and the Frenchman needs to make his mark sooner rather than later.
I said last time that Pompey had met Bristol twice in the FA cup before, both ties went to replays and both were lost at Ashton Gate, history to repeat itself?
A quiet affair in North London with a couple of old friends.
Date:Tuesday January 13 2009
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