The only Derby game that counts returns to Fratton Park tomorrow after a six year absence. In fact it is the first time the clubs have met at this level for thirty five seasons!
Both managers and a number of players have had their say in the lead up to the big game but now is the time for the talking to stop.
Pompey Team News:
Luke Varney appears to have lost his battle for fitness after limping off in the victory at Turf Moor last Saturday. Liam Lawrence may be fit enough to start after six weeks out.
Player to watch: Dave Kitson
Big Dave won a lot of admirers in the local Lancashire press for the way he ‘pulled the strings’ of Pompey’s impressive performance at Burnley. With the visitors weakness apparently at full back Pompey will be looking to use thier pace and get in the crosses – those will need an end result.
Southampton Team News:
Kelvin Davis is close to recovering from a calf injury in time for the game if he does not make it Bartosz Bialkowski will continue to deputise. The whole world has seen the mistake and the partizan home crowd will not let him forget it.
Player to watch: Adam Lallana
Adam Lallana will make his 150th appearance for the visitors and it part of their engine room that has created much this season. Lallana has many admirers but has yet to attract a bid to take him from St Mary’s
Match Facts & Stats
Irrelevant in derby games. Southampton are top as we all know and only a five goal defeat would knock them off their perch. Pompey though have won their last two and have an impressive home record.
Mark Halsey – big name for a big game.
It is forty eight years since I watched by first derby game back in 1963. Pompey won 2-0 – same again please!! A noisy game but with peace before and after would also be very welcome.
In the middle of the festivities Pompey travel to the New Den to face Millwall on Boxing Day kick off again 1pm. After that another live game at Leicester on New Years Eve this time starting at 12:15.