Date:Friday November 2 2007
It is off to Tyneside tomorrow, for the longest journey we have to make in the league this season - at least it is not a midweek game! We rarely come back with anything do we - but things can change...
We were poor against West Ham, but poorer still against Blackburn in the week when the league cup dream ended, so some players, strike that most players that started on Wednesday - and most will again tomorrow - will need to up the ante this time and redeem themselves.
Abdoulaye Faye (illness) looks likely to return but one time Pompey target Mark Viduka (calf), as seems the norm these days Damien Duff (ankle) and Stephen Carr (hamstring) are out.
Other than that the barcodes are at near full strength.
I like the fella; he seems to give many defences the run around, so if he turns up on Saturday - which sometimes he does not - we could be in for a tougher than already expected afternoon.
Sulley Muntari (hamstring) and Hermann Hreidarsson (torn groin muscle) missed the league cup debacle and are doubtful again.
Even though he had another poor game Pedro Mendes will most likely keep his place in midfield, but I would not expect Noe Pamarot to fill in for Hreidarsson this time, his selection at left back was a bad choice and it showed, you need that natural left sided player so after an impressive 45 minutes Matty Taylor 'should' fill in if needed.
I doubt many changes will be made, but it is almost nailed on that it will be a lone striker and Kanu might have come in for Benjani had he been fitter, but the chances of him being up to starting a match are slim, so I am happy that Benjani will probably keep his place.
The fella has been fantastic this season, growing in stature all the time, so the more we can get him on the ball - but show for him this time, unlike Wednesday - the more dangerous he will be, as will we.
The barcodes has won their last 4 home games, but we have won our last 3 away - so something has got to give... they also have no clean sheets in their last 6 games, while we have had 5 in 6.
The biggest concern though, they are 22 games unbeaten at home against us in the league, winning 16, with the others drawn.
I could think of easier places for us to go, but we want to banish the Tyneside demons sooner or later, so why not sooner. A major improvement is also needed from recent performances, so 'arry will demand this, and he 'should' get it...
Give me a point now and I will bite your hand off, but as I am the eternal optimist I will go one further and say we will end our 58 year run without a league win at St James' with a 2-1 victory - agree or disagree put forward your predictions on the game here.
PLAY UP POMPEY!!!
Man City at the Fortress next Sunday.
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Date:Friday November 2 2007
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