Pompey face a ‘boro side tomorrow at 3 pm on a Saturday (yes, really!)
‘Boro are stll not officialy safe from the drop to the championship, but it would take a remarkable chain of results to send them down. Only a win against Derby in the last six games breaks up a run of defeats and draws, and in their last home match of the season they will be hoping to achieve the double over Pompey.
Middlesborough Team News:
Gary O’Neil is denied a chance to show Pompey what they are missing, a cartilage injury curtailed his season a couple of weeks back, his drive and verve on the right will no doubt be missed.
Mark Schwarzer returns after a couple of weeks nursing a back problem, he should replace fellow Aussie Brad Jones. Mido remains injured upfront,so it will be Tuncay and Alves again.
Perma-injured Robert Huth looks like sitting it out again also with a foot problem. Aliadiere’s ankle has made enough progress for him to contend with Luke Cattermole for the right wing berth, hopefully ther will be no repeat of the violent attack on Mascherenho which rightly earned him a 3 match ban and the Argie psychologically scarred for life.
Player to watch: Alves
He was prolific in the Dutch leagues, but has yet to really find his feet so far in the Premiership, but what with re-emmergenance of his transfer saga with AZ, it maybe what he needs to fire him up.
Pompey Team News:
Jamo is still out along with Utaka, Jamie Ashdown will continue to deputise in goal, while Diop maybe asked to show off his sublime skill on the right wing again. Redknapp has more or less confirmed that Baros will start alongside Defoe upfront, so the favoured 4-5-1 away formation will be shelved for our final away game. Hreidarsson is available again after his ban, but he will have to usurp Lauren from the left-back slot. If Harry wants to rest anybody, Defence gives him littlest options, midfield however he has cover aplenty, Davis, Mendes, Hughes and Mvuemba are all available if anyone fancies putting their feet up in the middle.
Player to watch: Baros
The Czech has yet to register in the shirt of Blue, he is yet to be made a permanent offer, or clinch a starting place in 2 weeks in London.
Match Facts & Stats
Boro can become only the second side this season to achieve the double over us, they were the first to win at Fratton this season, and will be looking to cash in on Pompeys pre-occupied form of late.
Roger Milford (Bristol)
It’s the last chance for Pompey to improve on a fantastic away season, but goals have dried up of late as the pre-cup nerves kick in, ‘boro have been leaky though with -19 GD, place a punt here.
Fulham at Fratton next week in our penultimate fixture of the season.