Date:Friday August 26 2011
Pompey welcome the only Welsh side left in the nopower to Fratton on Saturday afternoon with Cardiff the visitors - their rivals Swansea now ply their trade in the 'promised land' of the premier league.
Whilst Cardiff 'might' have avenged their FA cup final defeat a little with a double over us last season no amount of league wins will ever really compensate for being beaten finalists will it, right?
Plenty of things at both clubs are very different since that Wembley day out in 2008 without a doubt, in fact a lot at both clubs is also quite different since last season!
Options, what are options?
Well these are something that Steve Cotterill finally seems to have, with more 'possible' before the transfer window closes too! With no injuries or suspensions to cope with he has the option of being able to leave players out of the match day squad of 16, will The Herminator and Christian Dailly both again be among those left out...
Eric Huseklepp and Benjani are pushing for starts, at least one of them should get it as Kanu's 63-year-old legs surely cannot manage another start. Cotts 'may' even going 4-4-2?
New signing Marko Futacs is eligible I would think although if he even makes the 16 it would be slightly surprising.
A solid foundation is built from the back and with Jason Pearce part of this back line we now look pretty solid. He is a good 'old fashioned' defender that you love to have in your side, well I know I do!
I also look forward to seeing what Eric the Viking and Benji can do at the other end, both will get a 'decent' amount of time on the pitch I would have thought...
Many players have come and gone for Cardiff this summer, so it will be a quite different side that we see - many will still be names known to us though.
One that might not be though is Filip Kiss, he is looking to feature for the first time since his loan arrival.
Aron Gunnarsson - ankle - is fit again so 'should' be involved.
One of so many players PFC have been 'linked' with in recent weeks is Cardiff's former Villa man Peter Whittingham - someone I would have been very happy to see at Fratton to tell the truth.
He stayed and will be an important player for the Welsh side again this season. Hopefully not too important on the day though eh!
In 50 previous league meetings in total Pompey hold a 20-17 lead, with 13 draws.
The last meeting came in April with Cardiff winning 3-0 in Wales, the meeting before that at Fratton was also won by Cardiff almost a year ago to the day in August, 2-0 on that occasion.
Cardiff has actually lost only once in the last 10 league meetings between the sides with us failing to score in 7 of the last 9 games we have played against them - gulp! Although things do change, right...
To be honest I do not really know what the deal is with Cardiff these days but I would, maybe being blinkered, say we are arguably favourites!
What say you, make your prediction here.
Date:Friday August 26 2011
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