It’s been a while but Pompey can have 4 south coast derbies this term, the first of which is at home on saturday to Gus Poyet’s Brighton.
Pompey had the ignominy of being dumped at the first hurdle of the Carling cup on tuesday evening, our thin squad was still pretty much the first choice 11 barring a couple of faces, Pompey need to fire at home early if this season is to be profitable.
Brighton have played 2, won 2 so far this season, last weeks first game at the Amex stadium was dramatic to put it mildly, 2 goals in the last 5 minutes from sub Will Buckley giving them a morlae boosting win.
Steve Cotterill seems to have found some sympathy from opposite number Gus Poyet, Poyet has spoken of his admiration in the way SC deals with all the Pompey troubles and lack of first team numbers, although he also pointed at the quality the thin squad had ‘I’ve heard a lot of people say they could be the surprise package this season because of the strength and power they have in their side. Time will tell on that but if they keep the whole squad fit they will have a very strong XI this season’
Pompey Team News:
Pompey can welcome back Tal Ben Haim and Hermann Hreidarsson tomorrow, both came through their respective friendlies unscathed and will boost the Pompey numbers.
Hopefully Liam Lawrence will have had no ill effects from his 70 minute run out on tuesday, while Jamie Ashdown will replace Henderson between the uprights.
Player to watch: Lawrence
He was out catalyst and shining light in the first part of last season, since then injuries have curtailed his involvement somewhat, if he hits top form once more Pompey may start to tick again.
Brighton Team News:
Brighton will be probably be without the younger brother of Lua Lua, he has been ruled doubtful with a tight hamstring.
Will Hoskins has yet to feature so far with a hip flexur injury.
One bonus is the return from International duty of Craig Mackail Smith, Brighton’s record signing will be the man they look to for the goals.
Player to watch: Mackail Smith
Tore up league one last season, the Championship may be a different proposition, but he has work rate along with his eye for goal to worry the Pompey backline.
Match Facts & Stats
Last season Pompey were dumped from the FA cup with 10 men at the Withdean, scorer on the day was Tom Kilbey.
In the league the last time we met at Fratton was in August 2002, 4-2 was the result, goals by Todorov, Merson, Taylor and Crowe, ah, the memories!
Stick you bet here.
Not long to wait and another localish derby, this time Reading will visit the park.