Date:Friday September 16 2011
Portsmouth make the 550 mile, 10 hour round trip up the M1 this weekend to face one of the teams that accompanied Portsmouth in relegation from the Premiership 17 months ago, Hull City.
Portsmouth showed major improvements in last week's thriller against West Ham, most noticeably managing to find the net 3 times. This week they'll look to replicate this whilst hoping that fortune doesn't favour the Tigers.
Hull have had a indifferent start, earning 9 points from 6 games after 3 wins and 3 losses. They come into this game off the back of consecutive victories, and will have high confidence, although like Portsmouth, they have struggled to notch up the goals this season, scoring just 4 times in 6 games.
Hull captain Andy Dawson will miss out after picking up a knee injury in training, which will be a major blow for the Tiger's defence, but other than that will have no new injury concerns. 23 year-old Jack Dobbs, who incidentally was born in Portsmouth, will take over as captain in Dawson's absence.
Matty Fryatt scored 51 goals during his 5 years at Leicester, before signing for Hull at the start of this season. He has only netted once this season so far, but is a clinical finisher and will be a constant threat to the Portsmouth back line.
Likewise, Portsmouth will be without their captain Liam Lawrence after his dismissal last weekend, with David Norris the likely candidate to take the armband. Joel Ward is expected to fill in for Lawrence. Dave Kitson also returns after illness prevented him from featuring last weekend, although he may find himself on the bench after encouraging performances from Benjani, Varney and Huseklepp last weekend.
After last week's performance, and his comments during the week, Benjani is looking more and more like the player we remember. Expect a lot of running from him again this week, and after being denied a goal by a flag happy linesman against the Hammers, he'll be hungry to grab his first since returning to the club.
A detailed list of match stats can be found in the forum, here...
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Date:Friday September 16 2011
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