Date:Friday February 20 2009
Pompey make the trip to the Potteries tomorrow, in what may well turn out to be a relegation clash, got to admit when the fixtures were printed in July I didn't think I would nbe typing that!
Pompey's managerless men will be looking to keep up their 100% record under caretaker Hart, okay it is only one game old, but it is 100% in the win margin so far!
Stoke earned the 'hard to beat' tag earlier in the campaign, but like many others this season the wins have dried up along with the goals, in fact it is form very similar to that at Fratton park until last week.
Hart and Kidd have made an immediate impact so far, back to basics seems to be their motto, and they are not short of support from the playing staff it seems. One thing of note from last weeks win against Man City was the return of some passion on the pitch, we certainly won our fair share of tackles and second balls, something that will need to be to the fore again tomorrow, as Stoke will be scrapping for everything as well.
Sidibe is fit after a longer abscence tan he would have liked, he may be joined in the ranks by Danny Higginbotham, well known to us on the South Coast.
Etherington and Delap are both banned, the latter caused problems earlier in the seaon at fratton with his launches into the box, so we won't miss him, likewise Fuller who netted on the day from one of said throws, he has just returned to full training after popping a shoulder.
Another ex-thing who certainly developed a taste for goals against Pompey whilst at our beloved rivals, his form has been good whilst Stoke have struggled as he re-adjusts to life in the fast lane after a prolonged abscence in the lower leagues.
Pompey should be able to field an unchanged team if desired, although Traore, Kaboul and Thomas are all pushing for a squad place after injury.
Got to think that Hart will name an unchanged squad though, wins are at a premium this season and he won't want to tinker with a winning formula until suspension or injury necessitates it.
I reckon he will enjoy the physical battle aginst Stoke and hopefully will come out on top.
Earlir this season will be remembered for Crouch's over head kick and Fullers header from a Delap exocet, only Crouchie can repeat the feat tomorrow.
Can Pompey reproduce the away form of last season, or will Stoke ease their relegation worries? Hedge a guess here.
Chelsea at Fratton for our usual 2 or 3 nil defeat
Date:Friday February 20 2009
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