Friday, January 19, 2007

Pompey preview

Charlton's last away victory was fifteen months ago at Fratton Park and we have won two out of three away Premiership fixtures there. One of my good Charlton memories is of Paolo di Canio coming on as a sub and inspiring the team and the crowd to turn the game around, taking a corner kick that led to a goal.

Unfortunately, Charlton's weak attack, indifferent midfield and wobbly defence offers little hope of a repeat, particularly given that Pompey are now a benefactor club. Much of the media attention has, of course, focused on Ben Thatcher with a 'vitriolic' reception predicted for the Charlton defender:

The crowd may be so obsessed with Thatcher that they egg a Pompey player on to make a rash challenge and get booked or even sent off. The BBC reckons that the home support see this as a 'nailed on three points', but note that this could lead to complacency. Whilst I am willing to clutch at any straw, Lawro's prediction of a 2-0 home win looks about right.

I am not going to suffer Portsmouth's open end again and will be watching Leamington play Bremerton Heath Harlequins, the No.2 team in Salisbury, from the relative comfort of the Sheepside stand in the FA Vase, a competition which they are now 6-1 to win.


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