Preview - Portsmouth ‘v’ Man City

An away trip to the South Coast to face a Portsmouth side lacking in confidence and belief (as well as a manager) offers City a perfect opportunity to cement their place in top echelons of the Premier League. The Citizens come into this game on the back of a hard-fought victory against Middlesbrough, while Portsmouth have been in free-fall recently, with a horrendous run of results culminating in the sacking of manager Tony Adams. At the time of writing, they have yet to appoint Adams’ successor, although if they do, then surely there will be a backlash; a move which could work against City.

Team News

Blues boss Mark Hughes faces a number of selection dilemmas as he prepares to name the side for this crucial game. Shaun Wright-Phillips is out of the match after the FA unbelievably decided to hand him a three-match ban for his kick-out at Rory Delap; a punishment equal to the one handed out to the perpitrator himself. In itself, this is possibly a just move, but it comes on the back of Chelsea defender José Bosingwa escaping scot-free following his disgraceful ‘tackle’ against Liverpool. Brazilian superstar Elano is expected to replace SWP on the right-wing, although Hughes also has the option of changing his formation and playing two men up-front. Richard Dunne is still suspended for the game, the final match of his four-game ban, so Nedum Onuoha and Vincent Kompany will again form the bedrock of the Blues’ defence.

Captured by Sky Sports cameras, Bosingwa lunges in at Benayoun, raking his studs down the Israeli’s back

My team:

                                       Given

Zabaleta       Onuoha                   Kompany         Bridge

                                     de Jong    

                      Elano                         Ireland                     

Bellamy                                                            Robinho 

                                    Caicedo

Subs: Hart, Garrido, Richards, Weiss, Sturridge, Evans, Vassell

Key Battles:

David James ‘v’ Shay Given

Given was utterly butterly outstanding on his debut against ‘Boro last week, and will be looking to carry his form into this game, when he comes up against arguably the best English goalie in the Premiership. James, although poor on his decision making, is an excellent shot-stopper and he will probably have many chances to display his skills, although I hope, unsuccessfully. 

James has never been one to conform to normailty

Armand Traoré ‘v’ Pablo Zabaleta

Possibly the bargain of the season (although Jo might have something to say about that), and now situated in his new midfield role, Zabaleta has been one of City’s best players this season. Traoré is on loan from Arsenal and has certainly added a new dimension to the Pompey side with his trickery and Usain Bolt-like pace. Zabaleta needs to defend solidly in this match and not let the Frenchman run the show.

Peter ‘Daddy Long-Legs’ Crouch ‘v’ Vincent Kompany

Crouch moved from Liverpool to the South Coast in the summer, but has failed to light up Pompey. His strike-partner, Jermain Defoe, has left the club to rejoin Tottenham, so there will be an extra burden placed upon the giraffe-like shoulders of Crouch. Kompany has taken on the captain’s armband in the absence of Richard Dunne and has looked secure at the back, so will hope to snuff out any danger.

Verdict: Portsmouth 1 - 2 Man City

A rare away victory for City, with goals to be scored by Bellamy, Ireland and Crouch.

10 Responses to “Preview - Portsmouth ‘v’ Man City”

  1. CHED EVANS IS MY HERO :) Along with Craig Bellamy! Says:

    Hi Steven,

    Stick with my 2-3 please

    Also you away for the game tomorrow, the 3rds is a very strong team and im playing :) Tyrer, Cantor, Plattsy, Middelton, Leo, Pete, Ollie, it’s a tough team, i can only see myself getting 10 mins to be honest…

  2. I Hate Gelson Fernandes Says:

    Hi Matt,

    Yeah, sorry, I’m away for your game. Thought Tyrer is 1sts?!?!?!? Where do you play for the team? Right-back????

  3. I Hate Gelson Fernandes Says:

    PS: Plattsy will be doing the review of Pompey when we’re in Madrid!!!

  4. CHED EVANS IS MY HERO :) Along with Craig Bellamy! Says:

    Hi Steven, i know, its a really strong line up, Gus said it’s to see who he has got coming through next year!

    Like the 2nd team + Tyrer! I think I will be playing up front or right wing but i really dont have a clue!

    p.s YES PLATTSY! OH I LOVE HIM!
    You missing Spanish then?

  5. CHED EVANS IS MY HERO :) Along with Craig Bellamy! Says:

    Hi Steven, i dont know if you found out but i came on for 30 mins then went for a 50/50 with my head and this other tit went for it with his foot and kinda kicked me badly!

    Got a black/blue/purple/green eye and have several cuts all down my eyes
    Not sure they will let me on the plane, i look a mess.

    Hopefully it will improve in time though…i was awful…plattsy was great

  6. I Hate Gelson Fernandes Says:

    Don’t worry, you can blame it all on the other guy!!! What was the final score?

    PS: I’m bricking it, aaarrrrggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Plattsy Says:

    Good preview Ste, I’ve got my work cut out trying to keep up to your standards!

    I like ‘the citizens’ and ‘utterly butterly outstanding’! You’ve also succeeded in using a word I don’t know in ‘echelons’.. I intend to use it in everyday language henceforth.

    Btw everyone the review will not be written until Monday as I’m in London this weekend

  8. Big Bob Says:

    plattsy, plattsy plattsy

    theres no commitment there
    Steve wouldn’t have this would he be in the country

  9. Steven in Madrid Says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I’m in Madrid at the moment on a school trip and for the first time in just under a week, have computer access.

    Plattsy, I’m sure your review will be fantastic - if it’s anything like what you’re capable of, then it’s something for the rest of us to look forward to. By the way, I loved your evaluation of the word ‘echelons’.

    Big Bob - I’m not sure who you are although I’m guessing you know me and Plattsy, but leave him alone until he’s written the piece at least!

    Good luck Plattsy, but I’ll be back in charge for the Copenhagen game on Thursday.

    Steven

  10. Big Bob Says:

    Steven do you have no sense of irony
    Eillen would not be amused

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