Date:Monday August 23 2010
Pompey have a 'break' from the league with the league cup and Palace's visit to Fratton on Tuesday night, not that the 'break' will see much change in terms of who is and who is not playing as we have little say on who can and cannot these days!
People will argue what is best for us here, a brief debate between myself, Ken, Richie and Westwood before Preston left it none the clearer to me what people actually want?
Clearly we do not 'have the squad' to cope with a 'cup run' although do you not want to win every game you can, and cup games add money to the coffers, right? Wins 'should' breed confidence and we certainly need this so I have no qualms about saying I DO want us to win this game...
John Utaka - hamstring - looks as though he will miss out again, having missed Preston at the week when virtually the whole team had an 'Utaka'. Hayden Mullins - knee - will fight on to play at right back against a former side, I think he won the player of the year with Palace, at least once?
All in all it will be 'as you were' once again, although 'wholesale changes' could, in fact should, see Matty Ritchie return to the side. One change equals wholesale these days!
He has been strongly 'linked' with West Brom again with a second bid of £3m plus add-ons turned down - he has had his moments since the Coventry and Stevenage games although quite how much his head has been turned remains to be seen?
We could do with a 'captains performance' tomorrow...Although with that double-edged sword in place if we do this 'might' increase the chances that he leaves!
Claude Davis - suspension - misses out after a sending off at the weekend, although loanee Pablo Counago could make his debut.
Having just exited administration themselves Palace have 'splashed the cash' to sign Edgar Davids, lack of fitness will 'probably' see him miss out.
I am reliably informed by Richie, who has a number or Palace fans as mates, that this young striker is 'one to watch' - so that settles that!
In 55 previous meetings in total Palace hold a 21-14 lead, with 20 draws. At Fratton we hold a 7-5 lead with 15 draws.
Pompey have not beaten Palace in the league cup before - in 4 games there have been 2 Palace wins and 2 draws, although both ties were played over two legs, I believe, that also means that we have failed to win a league cup against them on aggregate, away goals or anything...maybe Tuesday is the night!
At home, even with depleted numbers, we 'should' be a match for anyone as the Fratton atmosphere often adds something to the performance. So long as we give a better showing than at Preston, in fact I DEMAND it, I will be happy enough, a win would make the journey back to Devon even better though.
Hedge your bets in the league cup predictions league here.
Date:Monday August 23 2010
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