Pompey v Cardiff
The second of what will be three straight games at home sees Cardiff come to Fratton looking for some form of revenge for the FA cup final. This will arguably, well not really arguably, be our toughest test of the season to date. So, if we can overcome this we could be up and running in the no power league for sure.
It might have been a cup game but psychologically we have that monkey off our back of not beating a championship side so far, following the win over Palace during the week.
Win breed confidence, so a wins a win and a win over a decent championship side too 'should' help us going into the game with Cardiff, right?
Pompey Team News:
Dave Nugent - twisted ankle - needs a fitness test, if he makes it or not remains to be seen? John Utaka - hamstring strain - has returned to training this week so 'should' be part of the squad.
Kanu was 'expected' to sign his new contract, be that a 1 or 3-year one, although so far nothing has been announced so it is doubtful that he would have made the deadline to be registered in time? This makes it unlikely The King will feature, but you never know...
Options remain limited, and they 'could' be limited even more if Marc Wilson does not feature, and with a move to Stoke, probably, pending would any chances be taken? Perhaps it will be completed before the game anyway.
Player to watch: Michael Brown
Mikey has been a driving force in our midfield for sometime, with Marc Wilson's departure all but nailed down now he will have extra responsibility thrust onto him - and I am not talking about the captaincy, which 'probably' will be given to him, I mean the added workload. So far he has really looked up for it, long may this continue.
Cardiff Team News:
Andy Keogh - signed from Wolves - is 'in line' to make his Cardiff debut although Michael Chopra and Darcy Blake - both ankle - are doubtful. Kevin McNaughton - hamstring - is also a doubt.
Player to watch: Craig Bellamy
It could not really be anyone else could it, and not just because he is 'the big fish' at Cardiff at the moment! He ALWAYS causes us problems no matter who he is playing for. He is a pest, but a pest that you love to have playing for you but hate him against you.
Match Facts & Stats
In 55 previous meetings in total, incidentally the same number of meetings we had seen with Palace prior to the league cup meeting, we hold a 23-18 lead, with 14 draws. At Fratton we hold a 12-7 lead with 7 draws.
Pompey, that was of course the FA cup final in 2008 when we won 1-0, won the most recent meeting. The last time Cardiff beat us was in the league cup in the 1995/96 season, 1-0 at Ninian Park.
The last league meeting was in the old 2nd division in the 1984/85 season at Fratton when the game ended 0-0 - you have to go back to an old 3rd division meeting in the 1982/83 season to find Cardiff's last league win, this was also at Ninian Park.
Cardiff have had their own problems recently, despite thoughts otherwise I am not convinced that they are over them. What I do know is they have plenty of quality about them and will be the favourites to win here, although the Fratton support 'could' make a big difference as it did during the week.
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