Arsenal were dealt with Boxing day, another 0-0 was more favourably met by the Fratton faithful this time, but another blank against ‘boro probably won’t get the same reception.
Richard Hughes has stated his desire to hold down his spot, and if my opinion counts he has more than earned it. Davis and Mendes’ ailments will probably give him free reign to continue anyway, Saturday has come too soon for both.
Diop has a bit of a knock, but Kranjcar who limped off against the Arse, has declared himself fit, nothing more sinister than cramp was to blame for his substitution.
Pompey have a monkey on their back now with the goalless drought, our defence reigns supreme, the forwards need to start raining goals, the Reading feast was great, but if I knew I had to waituntil almost the New Year for another goal I would have settled for a 1-0 win.
Pompey Team News:
Glen Johnson is hopeful of recovery for ‘boro, but Lauren’s performance should give him a bit more breathing space.
Matt Taylor looks doomed to the bench for a while longer, if he is still her in 4 weeks time remains to be seen, but the reception he recieved when entering the fray on Boxing day should give him heart if nothing else.
Player to watch: Benjani
The time has come for the goals to flow again, us Fratton fans are patient, but enough is enough, so Benji and Kanu need to start banging them back in front of the faithful.
Middlesborough Team News:
Gario is apparently being hampered by a hamstring injury, this would curtail a no doubt emotional return to Fratton, but we know if he can play, he will bust a gut to do so.
George Boateng is suspended, Taylor, Riggott and Mido remain absent.
Player to watch: Tuncay
The Turk is finding his feet in the Prem and looks most likely up front.
Match Facts & Stats
Not a happy ground for Middlesbrough, normally the goals fly in, lets hope it goes to type then
Hedge the bets here.