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Coventry v Portsmouth – Match Preview

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Portsmouth will look to forget their off-field troubles as they face Coventry this evening in an FA Cup third round replay.

The two sides previously met at the start of the year, yet a Kevin-Prince Boateng header could only cancel out David Bell’s first-half strike.

The Blues will be without midfielder Jamie O’Hara, but goalkeeper David James could return from a longstanding calf injury. However, it remains to be seen if the England international will play. A cup appearance would certainly diminish his market value, with Portsmouth looking to sell.

South Africa captain Aaron Mokoena is available after serving a one-match suspension, yet Portsmouth will be without their African contingent. Nadir Belhadj, Hassan Yebda, Aruna Dindane and Kanu are all at the African Cup of Nations representing their countries.

Coventry have a number of players missing from tonight’s action. Aron Gunnarsson remains an injury doubt after limping off during their weekend win over Barnsley.

Winger Carl Baker is cup-tied while new signing Gary Deegan was not registered in time to play in the competition. Loan duo Leon Barnett and Gary Madine are also unable to feature.

Despite being in the Premier League, realistically, Portsmouth are only 14 places above Coventry and will have reason to fear when travelling to the Ricoh Arena this evening.

The winner of the bout will be rewarded with a home fixture against Sunderland.

Coventry forward Clinton Morrison will have motive to score, needing only one more goal to total 150 in his club year, while defender Martin Cranie will want to prove his worth to the club that sold him last summer.

The game kicks-off at 19.45hrs with live coverage being available from BBC Radio 5 Live.

The fixture should provide a nice distraction to the financial troubles surrounding the club.

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