Every game is important. However in terms of how crucial tomorrow’s game against bottom-of-the-table West Bromwich Albion is, it cannot get any more crucial.
It is a game that was labelled a ‘must win’ weeks in advance. The Baggies currently find themselves bottom of the table, eight points from safety. Portsmouth however find themselves four points clear of the relegation zone, sitting in sixteenth position.
Whilst in many areas of the media, West Brom has been represented as already relegated, it is still possible for them to survive and produce another miraculous ‘Great Escape’.
It is a game that Pompey fans and players alike should not take lightly. West Brom still has a lot to play for and are not about to quit on their quest for survival.
Tony Mowbray’s side however will have to pull off a ‘historic victory’, with West Brom failing to win at Fratton Park since 17 September 1958, gaining victory in a 2-6 win.
Interestingly that is the only occasion that Pompey has conceded six goals in a home league defeat.
West Brom has only won once away from home this season in the league. In order to stay up this season they will have to start winning the away games they have left, Portsmouth included.
It is vital Portsmouth do not let that happen. In the next two weeks, Portsmouth face West Brom and Bolton both at home. There are six points up for grabs. I have high hopes that we gain all points available.
Add another win and maybe a few draws and I think Portsmouth will be safe…hopefully.
In terms of team news, Portsmouth is missing a few key players. Glen Johnson will serve his unjust one-match ban, whilst Sean Davis looks set to miss out after failing to recover from a knee injury that kept him out of Portsmouth’s visit to Hull last week.
Jermaine Pennant is in contention to start for the first time after recovering from injury, potentially replacing Glen Johnson on the right-hand-side of midfield.
West Brom defender Abdoulaye Meite could for the Baggies to add some much needed stability in defence. The Ivory Coast international is likely to replace Shelton Martis.
If results go Portsmouth’s way this weekend they could be sitting 13th in the league by Sunday evening. If results don’t go their way, they could move down one place to 17th, a point clear from the relegation zone.
Under manager Paul Hart and Brian Kidd, Portsmouth has only lost once. That game was against Chelsea at home. Pompey has avoided defeat in their past five league games. Pompey will be hoping to extend that to six league games tomorrow afternoon.
Venue – Fratton Park
Date – 11 April 2009
Kick-off – 1500 BST
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