Date:Saturday September 16 2006
Pompey face the daunting if not difficult trip to the Valley to face Charlton, who they've not beaten in the last eight meetings in London. Ian Dowie has a good side so this will be a tough game but we will be hoping to maintain our unbeaten run to the season at least.
"Of course, I love it when my team is not conceding goals and we have done well so far this season but in the modern game the whole team defends and the whole team attacks. That is what we demand."
Something that is certainly true of Pompey so far this season, another clean sheet would suit us fine today!
Charlton have a growing injury list, former Liverpool defender Djimi Traore has a broken leg with hamstring injuries keeping out summer arrivals Souleymane Diawara and Andy Reid.
Suspension is also another issue Dowie has to deal with; Hermann Hreidarsson will miss out due to this.
A constant threat for Charlton, always waiting to pounce, so give him an inch and he'll more often than not take a mile and punish you severely. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is another to watch; the wily old fox still has something in his locker despite approaching the "veteran stage" of his career.
Harry Redknapp has an almost fully fit squad to select from, one player however that will certainly not be available, not that he would have anyway will be Ivica Mornar, the Croatian left Fratton Park on Friday after having his contract terminated by mutual consent.
Players looking for debuts, which could be given, are Andrew Cole, Niko Kranjcar and Roudolphe Douala. Manuel Fernandes is not quite ready for first team action, although he should make his debut against Mansfield in the Carling Cup in midweek.
Skipper Dejan Stefanovic appears to have overcome his toe injury so looks certain to retain his place at left-back.
The Croatian may not start, but he has a very good chance of doing so. The youngster looks a wonderful talent, fantastically quick feet that could open up the Charlton defence, has an eye for goal also. Linvoy Primus will be another to watch, after an outstanding start to the season Linvoy will be looking to continue this against his first club, with whom he never really made the breakthrough, if only they knew...
* The 100th meeting of the two sides, Charlton off the back of a poor start to the season, Pompey off the back of a tremendous start (hopefully both will continue!)
* The worst start to a Premiership will be confirmed should Charlton not win.
* Charlton won both meetings last season, having won four of the six Premiership meetings so far.
* The Addicks have conceded more second half goals than any other Premiership side, seven of their eight having come in the second 45 minutes.
* I'm not going to tempt fate with any stats on record breaking, or equalling clean sheets stats, these can wait for another day...
* Our last victory at Charlton came in1993, Warren Neill scoring in the old Division One fixture, our last top flight win over Charlton in London came in 1957, although in fairness we've rarely been in the top flight together in this time.
* The last time we won five consecutive games the third match in this run would be against Charlton!
* It took us eleven games to reach double figures for points last season; we've achieved this in four this season.
* Jamo is the most experienced goalkeeper in the top flight (442 games before today) with only Gary Speed having played more Premiership games.
Phil Dowd replaces Uriah Rennie. Look out for Dermot Gallagher, he's the fourth official.
Another clean sheet would without question see Pompey leaving London with three points as we will score at least once I have complete faith in this. I do have this horrible feeling our run could end, but I'm going to go against my head here and let my heart rule, Pompey to win, and to win 3-1 with a new boy, maybe even new boys Andrew Cole and Niko Kranjcar scoring. PLAY UP POMPEY!!!
Tuesday 19-09-06, Carling Cup, Mansfield (a)
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Date:Saturday September 16 2006
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