Date:Friday March 23 2012
What a difference a week makes in football. This time last week most of us were saying anything but 3 points against Bristol City would spell doom. Bristol City came and left after a 0-0 draw accompanied by an impressive second-half display which postponed pessimism for another 3 days.
Then along came Birmingham, who got walloped 4-1 by a Pompey team who are all of a sudden realising their dreams of "The Greatest Escape" may be slowly coming true.
Perhaps equally as importantly, the loan transfer window has now been slammed shut and both Pearce and Varney have managed to keep their place in the Portsmouth squad, in addition to a few young City boys coming in to bolster the ranks.
Up next, a crucial 6 pointer as Pompey travel to the Ricoh to try and upset the Football League's applecart and climb ever closer to safety.
A few knocks and hobbles have been shaken off after the Birmingham game, and Pompey have no new injury concerns going into the match. Perhaps more frustratingly for Appleton is that both Etuhu and Futacs scored after coming on in midweek, the former especially looking worthy of a starting place. A dilemma that isn't too familiar here, and one we welcome.
Despite being eligible, it'll be surprising to see Scapuzzi or Rekik come straight into the team, although there may be a place on the bench for one of them.
Maguire was chosen as the one to watch on Tuesday and proved why, scoring one and setting up another, as well as being involved in the sending off. His work rate was spectacular and if he can keep it up it could be very rewarding come the end of April.
After snatching a last minute equaliser against Cardiff on Wednesday, Andy Thorn has no new concerns injury wise. It is unlikely that Pompey fans will see Hermann make an appearance having only appeared twice since moving to the club in January.
Martin Cranie never really got a look in at Pompey, but has been one the first names in the Sky Blues' defence since moving there in 2009. He can play at right back, but will more than likely slot in at centre back and could cause trouble to the Pompey front line.
We are all aware of Pompey's scoring woes prior to last Tuesday, but hopefully our 4 goals will encourage more balls in the onion bag. Coventry have drawn their last 4 games, and perhaps worrying for Portsmouth have secured 7 of their last 10 points with goals in stoppage time.
A 6-pointer for both teams, in my opinion can only end one way, with 1 point each. Neither team will want to lose and a point isn't a bad result for us, especially with 2 home games coming up. I'll say 1-1, with a late twist.
Make your prediction here.
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Date:Friday March 23 2012
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