Manchester United look to return to winning ways tomorrow when they travel to down south to play bottom of the table Portsmouth. United, who will be without Ferguson on the touch line, unbelievably lost to the Turkish side Besiktas on Wednesday.
The off-the-field problems at Portsmouth have certainly filtered down on to the Fratton Park pitch during the last six months with Pompey only managing two wins out of a possible thirteen. Two take overs happened in a matter of weeks as well as the sale of players Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, Glen Johnson and Lassana Diarra. Portsmouth’s only wins came against both Wigan and Wolves. After his eleventh loss at Stoke, Paul Hart’s contract was terminated by the Portsmouth executive board. As the Pompey managerial role was open, Director of football Avram Grant was appointed as manager earlier this week. However the reds are on top form with only three losses this season placing them second in the Premier League table. Although earlier in the week united lost, the reds are likely to put out their best team to face Grants new side.
United will welcome back Dimitar Berbatov to their squad after recovering from a knee injury but they are still without many of their key players. Owen Hargreaves is yet to return but him and Rio Ferdinand are recovering from their injuries in their own time. Jonny Evans (Calf), Fabio (Groin), John O’Shea (ankle) are all still doubts but if recovered from their injuries could make an appearance. Likewise, Portsmouth also have their injury conserens with David James (calf) and Linvoy Primus (foot) both very unlikely to feature.
Mike Dean from the Wirral will be in charge of this one. He dished out nine yellow cards in United’s 2-1 victory over Arsenal earlier this season, and last oversaw Portsmouth in their 2-2 draw with West Brom last campaign.
Likely Line Ups:
Portsmouth: Ashdown, Ben Haim. Hreidarsson, Kaboul, Wilson, Brown, Boateng, O’Hara, Mullins, Kanu, Dindane.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Rafael, Brown, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Fletcher, Carrick, Giggs, Rooney, Berbatov.
(c) Oliver McGrath & Blogsfc
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