Date: 12th March 2008 at 5:26pm
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Pompey come back down to Earth again with a league appointment with struggling Birmingham.

Vital Quotes:

Birmingham maybe at the wrong end of the table, but their last 2 outings against both North London sides have yielded 4 points.
Their infamous clash with Arsenal saw them snatch a point against the leaders with a backs to wall performance with just 10 men. Next up was the 4 goals thrashing of League cup winners Spurs, so no mugs then.

All the talk about Pompey now is of the F.A cup, it not only offers our best hope of some glory, but also of Europe, the Uefa spots are currently taken by Spurs (definite), and Everton (looking probable). With no team from the top 4 able to win the cup, it will be only 1 spot available to league placement this year.

Pompey Team News:

Defoe looks like a certain starter, as does Baros whose second half appearance helped earn our win on Saturday. In defence I do wonder if Harry may take the chance to give Aubey an outing, with Sol taking a deserved rest and Hermann switching to the centre. Midfield maybe mixed a bit also, with Villa on Saturday, squad rotation never looked more likely than tonight. Hughes however, looks likely to miss out after bruising his leg in a collision with Wes Brown.

Player to watch: Defoe

He is one player who won’t be side-tracked by the cup run, he only wants to score goals and keep his run up of scoring in each of his home fixtures.

Birmingham Team News:

McFadden and Whitehead (Forssell) look like starting upfront again, their partnership is gelling nicely and bearing fruit in the form of goals.
Taylor serves the 2nd game of his 3 match ban, and Oliver Kapo is hamstrung.

Player to watch: Forssell

The Finn is looking more like the player he was when initially on loan to Birmingham, his knee injury took a lot out of him, but signs of the old deadly striker are surfacing again quickly. Arecent hat-trick against Spurs is testament to a return to type.

Match Facts & Stats

Pompey took the honours at St.Andrews, but the memeory of a 5-0 hiding 2 years back sits fresh in the mind to many

Match Prediction:

Will our cup exploits give us a hangover, a’la Spurs, or a lift-off? Here’s hoping for the latter, but hedge your bets here.

Next Fixtures:

Villa at home Saturday completes our Midlands adventure.