England showed what they are made of mid-week, now its up to Pompey’s so-called foreign legion to try and keep our away run rolling.
All the talk this week has been about England, the fall-out over our lack of qualification has led to call from some quarters for Harry Redknapp to lead his country, unsettling? we will see, on the other fence its been all about Steve Bruces’ departure to Wigan, how this affects the Midlanders will also become clearer tomorrow.
Birmingham Team News:
Cameron Jerome is a definite absentee after a hernia operation, this will be countered by the return of Forsell, who scored against Villa in the Premiership last time out, and again for Finland last Saturday.
One time Pompey target Djourou should feature in defence along with Liam Ridgewell.
Player to watch: Forsell
The Finn was hot property a couple of years back, while on loan first time round with Birmingham, he was banging goals in from all angles, but a serious knee injury stripped a year from his career. Forsell may have lost a yard, but remains a quality striker who can punish anyone who underestimates him.
Portsmouth Team News:
After the International break no-one has returned crocked, Sol will look forward to playing alongside a reliable partner in defence again, and a ‘keeper with a safe pair of hands!
John Utaka has made good progress from a hamstring tweak, but Kanu remains a doubt. Matt Taylor will hoping he did enough in the draw with Man City to be in the reckoning, but if Utaka starts, I feel Pompeys side will have a very familiar and successful line up.
Player to watch: Kranjcar
An International who played like one on Wednesday night, the Premiership is taking note of our Croat now, and regular games are seeing the best of him.
Match Facts & Stats
Last time round 2 years ago was Pompey at our lowest ebb, thrashed 5-0 and seemingly doomed to relegation.
Generally we draw at City, although I have fond memories of a Guy Whittingham inspired win back in ’93.
Pompeys away form is red-hot right now, but can we keep it up? Place your bets here.
Everton at Fratton next up, then back to Birmingham to play Villa.