Date: 21st October 2006 at 9:43am
Written by:

Pompey in top of the table clash!!

Chelsea, there`s a word which should fill you with dread, but I along with other Pompey fans this season am not filled with the usual trepidation over our Stamford bridge trip. Maybe we should be, Chelsea have just beaten Barcelona, supposedly the best team in the world, they sit in second in the table and Didier Drogba is in the best form of his Premiership career.
Then again Pompey are in the best form of their Premiership stay, we are just three points behind, and currently have the best defence in the top flight, along with Kanu sitting pretty in the top scorers league.

Also this season Pompey have a comfy looking cushion beneath them, bottom three looks a mile away and for the first time since reaching the top flight we can play without shackles, we do not need to defend and try and sneak a point, we can play with freedom and attack, safe in the knowledge that if we lose, we lose, no slipping into the relegation zone this time, just the UEFA cup spots!
History is against us of course, no points against the Blues at all in the Premiership yet, but all runs must come to an end and where better than on Saturday tea-time come 5:50.

Manuel Fernandes looks a likely starter again, his performance against West Ham showed glimpses of enough talent to make even the most pessimistic Pompey fan sit up and take notice. Niko Kranjcar should also step into the left side of mid-field where he ran riot against England just over a week ago, this time however it won`t be in place of Matt Taylor who will drop back to left-back in place of the injured Stefanovic.

Cole will be itching to add to his goal last week, but will probably have to do so from the bench, my money is on Kanu and Benjani to keep their berths.

In defence Campbell will want to prove he can still mix it with the very best, and Linvoy will like to keep up his record of the better the player, the better he becomes.

So can we pull off the unexpected? Experts and cynics will say no (Le tissier definitely!), but his is a different Pompey than of old, so if Chelsea turn up tired and lethargic or even over-confident, Pompey will strike for the jugular and maybe turn the tables on the champs, just so long as Joe Cole doesn`t play like last season and tear us apart!

Play up Pompey
Paul