Pompey return to day job
After the most up and down close season in Pompey's up and down history, some form of sanity returns with resumption of a premier league season.
Ask any footbal 'expert' about Pompey and you will get the same answer, we are doomed! But in reality are we?
Yes, Johnson, Crouch, Campbell and Davis have all departed, you will no doubt read that 15 have in fact gone, this is true, but it's the four above who will have the biggest impact. Look a little deeper though and names such as Distin, James, Kaboul and Kranjcar are all still here, Frederic Piquionne is the new man up front and after one run out doesn't look a bad prospect.
Pompey have no doubt been weakened in since January, added to the summer departures were Diarra and Defoe, 2 internationals who plyed their trade with the best of them, but Pompey can still field a half decent first 11, its only if injuries strike that we will really feel the pinch.
Fulham have a head start on Pompey as such that they have had competitive football already, the new Europa format of the UEFA cup has seen Fulham score 6 unanswered goals to give them a heads up for the season.
Pompey Team News:
James should be fit after limping out of the Rangers friendly, Vanden Borre is unavailable after the Italian Fa dithered on releasing his forms, but Marc Wilson may well get a chance to resume his fledgling career as a partner for Distin with Kaboul being able to release his attacking instincts on the right.
The left side of defence looks a little shakier, Hreidarsson is crocked and Belhadj is both a bit dodgy defending, and also doing his utmost to rejoin the ginger one at Spurs if press releases are to be believed.
Piquionne is a shoe-in up front, but its a big if to as whether he has a partner, Nugent is commiting career suicide, while Kanu has once again skipped pre-season!
Midfield looks easier to forecast, Kranjcar will be the attacking outlet, with Diop hopefully returning to the fold, Basinas does not look a favourite of Hart's, while Mullins will no doubt get the chance to prove he can play once again.
Player to watch: Piquionne
We need a hero Fred, the invite is there for you to fill a void, but can you do it big boy?
Fulham Team News:
Fulham have the luxury of having already settled into a first choice line up, Johnson and Zamora have had a decent pre-season, while Clint Dempsey is the only real doubt after playing for the US of A midweek.
Player to watch: Zamora
Big year for Bobby, he was a sought after young player a few years back at Brighton, Spurs cocked him up a bit and he had a drought of biblical proportions last season, but he has looked sharp in the summer warm-ups so far.
Match Facts & Stats
Fulham performed their great escape a couple of years back at Fratton, a draw last time out though.
Prediction time again, hedge a bet here.
Brum up there