Date: 5th March 2010 at 3:48pm
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For many our season basically rests on this game – victory and we are making at least one return to our ‘second home’ of Wembley, defeat and many will feel the players will, for all intend and purpose, throw in the towel for this season, even though there are no ‘meaningless games’ left despite what some might tell you…

As far as our chances of selling the club go, a win makes us a far more ‘attractive proposition’ to the deadly dozen!

Vital Quotes:

If there is any justice in the world, and if there is a God he will look down on us and guide us back to Wembley again – we have endured such a traumatic season, and it is not done yet, that you feel we deserve something, right?

This game is going to mean so much to everyone. The fans will be praying, and you would hope the players are really up for it, so we have a decent chance. I want us to win this game so much and it will mean so much to me if we did that I would be tempted to ‘sell my soul’ if it helped…

Pompey Team News:

Jamie O’Hara is down as ‘doubtful’ – back – although Quincy could make a surprise return despite limping away from the win at Burnley last week with what looked like a hamstring problem.

One man that is definitely out is Rocha John Rocha who picked up his 2nd red card in 3 games for Pompey – he will miss both meetings with ‘The Blues’ in the coming days.

Tal Ben-Haim and Aaron Mokoena could return though, sadly Marc Wilson – who looked much more settled in midfield, a defensive midfield role is where I think he is best utilised – could well drop back into defence?

Player to watch: John Utaka

By no means my favourite player, or many others’ for that matter, but you would hope as the home side we would go for it a little more, which would mean him included – his pace ‘should’ trouble their defence…if we use him right and he is ‘up for it’.

As he keeps talking the talk about how much a return to Wembley would mean, lets hope we walks the walk…

Birmingham Team News:

James McFadden – groin – missed the Jocks win during the week although he could be fit to retain his place, having scored their winner against Wigan last week. Choo-choo Benitez, or whatever they call him, could resume his partnership with Cameron Jerome otherwise.

Gary O’Connor – groin – and Lee Carsley – ankle – are both out.

Player to watch: Joe Hart

Birmingham do not, on the whole, score that many goals but they certainly do not concede many either – to be fair this is largely down to their defensive pairing but Hart has also been in fine form.

The battle of two England hopefuls is one we will hope David James wins on the day…

Match Facts & Stats

We have already met once this season, we will probably all recall the last minute defeat suffered at St Andrews early in the season – a James McFadden penalty did us that night.

Only 3 defeats in the last 10 meetings, and all of those came away, is not a bad return really is it although the last FA cup game came back way in January 1977 and we were beaten 1-0 – again at St Andrews though. So, in terms of cup games we have revenge that is some 30 odd years in the brewing!

Ref Watch:

Ignacious Pop.

I wonder if Chix knows who Richard Owen’s sister is yet?

Match Prediction:

I think that if we are going to see off the Brummies we have to do this at Fratton, this – for me – is our best chance so lets roar the guys to victory and the chance to return to Wembley, something that we deserve from this miserable season.

Next Fixtures:

After this game we welcome Birmingham back to Fratton during the week…


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