Pompey v City
After another emphatic away performance at St.James, can our counter-attacking football break down fellow high-fliers Man City?
Pompey really have started to make people sit up and notice, we have known all season we were really good this year, but now after the demolition of Newcastle at St.James for the first time since '49, the pundits and fellow fans are taking note alike.
The Sun (who incidentally although Redknapp has a column, never rate a Pompey player higher than 8, even if he gets a hat-trick!) tip Pompey for a win, Paul Walsh who has covered the last 3 City games, tips Pompey for the win, if we are not careful LeTissier is going to start!!
Pompey Team News:
One enforced change will be in midfield, Diop is banned after accumulating the bookings, but this should at least be countered by the return of talismanic Mendes. City must hate the sight of him, 3 home goals in a year, all blockbusters, and they are reduced to kicking him out the games. (Thankfully both Barton and Thatcher have departed, are their any more thugs in their ranks?)
Mendes has yet to fire properly yet this season, but along with Taylor has had to contend with crumbs from the bench, such has been Pompeys storming start to the season.
In defence, Hreidarsson is fit to resume at left-back, but Harry sticks to his form players as he has done so far, Pamarot should have done enough to hold him off.
It's great now to have a squad where players who have been consistent, cannot force their way back in straight away, such as Kanu, Mendes and hopefully Hermann. This is meant as no disrespect to the Icelander, but it gives off the right message to those on the edge of the squad if they get their chance.
Player to watch: Mendes
Who else? After the great escape brace of 2 seasons ago, the scorcher last year, who else will we expect to hit a 30 yarder come Sunday?
Man City Team News:
Micah Richards should return at centre back, but City are down to 16 fit outfield men, with Johnson and Onuoha both definite absentees.
City are reminiscent of Pompey last year, on fire at home, but not so away, they have only the solitary away win so far, with a thrashing at Chelsea in the bank, how they approach this one is anyones guess, they attacked Chelsea and came a cropper, maybe they will try the West Ham approach and block and defend.
Player to watch: Elano
Hit the ground running so far, all City's best moves seem to involve him, and he has had an eye for goal as well.
Match Facts & Stats
City at Fratton is normally full of goals, beside Mendes' exploits I can recall a great game a couple of years back where a Fowler/Cole patnership hit the bar 3 times and Pompey hit 4!
Mark Halsey, one of the calmer refs, and hopefully one who will keep the cards in his pocket and let the game flow
Another Newcastle or another West ham? Hedge your bets here.
Blank weekend coming up with International break