Date:Saturday February 23 2013
Pompey travel to cup specialists Oldham this afternoon that could see Pompey finally turn promise into winning form. Unbeaten in two, the Blues have drawn their last two... and are still without a win since October 20th. Oldham who sit just outside the relegation zone 10 points ahead of Pompey who are bottom. Athletic will feel that if they can compete against the two top Merseyside clubs then a hosting of a dropping South-Coast club shouldn't be too much of a test but if they play their cards right, Pompey could cause a real upset this afternoon.
A court case that has been adjourned so many times to set a hearing date for the sale of Fratton Park has finally happened and it has been confirmed that this hearing will take place by April 19th. The ridiculous kerfuffle has finally been resolved, for the moment and now it will be all eyes on the pitch until the sale of Fratton Park is resolved.
Oldham are expected to be without 5 players heading into this game at Boundary Park. A midweek win against promotion chasers Stevenage came at a harsh cost as three players left the Lamex Stadium nursing injuries. Carl Winchester is out with an ankle injury that sees him hobbling around on crutches for the time being. James Wesolowski is suffering from a hamstring injury and Cliff Bryne is also fighting a groin problem. Cristian Montano and Youssuof M'Changama are out and will continue to be as they suffer from long-term thigh and knee injuries.
Smith is Oldham's current FA Cup hero after scoring against Liverpool and Everton. He has 7 goals to his name this season but that tally is not to be faulted as he has begun to find the net regularly recently. The 6'6 23-year-old is becoming a solid striker in Oldham colours and could be able to capitalize on Pompey defence that has struggled to defend many set pieces this season.
Pompey have only one new worry and that is of Shaun Cooper who had to be replaced in the first half of last weekend's draw against Carlisle. The on-loan Crawley man came off with what appeared to be a groin problem but turned out to be a hip injury so it will be likely that Yassin Moutaouakil starts in his place. David Connolly is set to return to the match squad after 3 weeks out with a hamstring injury and will be looking to appear for the first time in 4 games.
The Gibraltan midfielder has been one of Pompey most instrumental players in recent weeks despite not starting regularly. The Pompey fans are crying out for his name to be the first on the team sheet as he looks like Pompey best chance of creating anything and is proving to be a catalyst in Pompey's U-turn in form. His left-boot is what Pompey fans want to see and Guy Whittingham should be left with no choice other than starting him as he also has two goals in 4 games from midfield and is playing with confidence following his good form of late.
Oldham have the upper hand in the history between the two clubs with 12 wins from 28. Pompey have only managed to beat the Latics 8 times and draw as many but can the Blues make it a ninth win? Only a good performance will make that so.
Even if Pompey dominate this game like they have in recent weeks gives no indication of what the result might be. Confidence should be high however as the Blues remain unbeaten in two and if they can make that three then I'll be happy. But, as a positive I'll say 1-0 Pompey as they search on for a first win in 22 games.
MK Dons travel to Fratton Park on Tuesday night for a 19:45 KO. Dons sit very comfortably in 12th with 21 more points than Pompey currently but have hit a rough patch as they search for their first win in 5 after suffering 4 defeats and 1 draw since their FA Cup triumph over QPR on January 26th. Still not as bad as Pompey but should they continue their miserable run of form then Pompey could hit them hard when they come to the South-Coast 3 days from now.
Date:Saturday February 23 2013
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Pompey sign defender Devera (Wednesday May 15 2013)
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