We head back to London tonight for a rearranged league meeting with West Ham looking to push forward our claims for a 5th place finish.
Last time we were in London I seem to remember us winning some game or another, not that important though I do not think…
We are now 90 minutes away from assured uefa cup football – clearly an FA cup win would mean more than that though.
Yep the FA cup is the priority but I still want us to finish as high in the league as we can – and I have not given up on 5th just yet, but we must win tonight though if we want this.
West Ham Team News:
Teenager Freddie Sears and one time ‘reported’ Pompey target Bobby Zamora are training as are George McCartney and John Pantsil so all 4 could play a some part.
Freddie Ljungberg is hamstrung so misses out. Pompey old boy Nigel ‘the relegator’ Quashie is still with the Hammers but is currently out injured apparently and will not return until next season.
Player to watch: Dean Ashton
I have always liked the fella and would have liked him to have signed for us. After a long injury setback, and a few problems since, from what I have seen of him has been pretty good so far so if he plays we need to keep an eye on him.
Pompey Team News:
Jermain Defoe will miss returning to another of his old stomping grounds – as he had Spurs – as he is attending his grandmothers funeral. With Kanu likely to be rested and Milan Baros doubtful with an ankle injury Dave Nugent is pushing for a rare league start – in fact he is pleading for it. If Baros is fit the pair could play alongside each other?
John Utaka’s hamstring is not up to it yet so he misses out again and Lassana Diarra has a dead leg, but should be fit.
Player to watch: Dave Nugent
He has looked sharper, fitter and faster since he returned from his injury lay off. Against Wigan he impressed me in his 25 minutes or so and in the 20 minutes at Wembley he did not do that bad either to be honest.
He got some stick for his miss after coming on and the miss at the end, but replays showed – so I am told as I have not seen any yet – that he was taken out as he did shot?
I say give the fella a start, the only way he can try to prove himself and improve his match fitness is with games, and we need this fitness high as he will play some part in the cup final.
Match Facts & Stats
We have a good record against the Hammers. Ok we may be down in terms of overall wins (16-15) but we have not lost to them in the premier league in our 7 previous meeting, winning 5 and drawing 2, winning at West Ham in our 2 previous premier league encounters.
Earlier in the season we drew 0-0 at Fratton when Benji missed an injury time penalty – that still haunts me now as you knew it was going to happen…
The man in the middle tonight will be Lee Probert of Gloucestershire.
Of course I will be going for a Pompey win – I always do but what do you reckon fellas? Place your bets here.
I will be back up to Pompey for the Geordies visit to Fratton on Saturday, then I will be heading back to Manchester – how sweet that was last time eh! – when we face Citeh the week after.