nPower League 1
Saturday 6th April 2013
Fratton Park, Frogmore Road, Portsmouth, PO4 8RA
Kick Off: 3pm
Weather Forecast: Sunny, 8°c
Referee: C Sarginson (Staffordshire)
Last time we met:
Filipe Morais scored his first ever goals for the club as Boro secured a 2-1 victory over Portsmouth back in October. The Portuguese headed in Lucas Akins's cross before Wes Thomas thought he had levelled, only for Mark Roberts to clear brilliantly off the line. Jon Harley did equalise with a superb turn and shot from outside the area but Morais grabbed his second and the points when his cross eluded everyone and found the net. Pompey applied late pressure but suffered their first league defeat in six games, while Stevenage who had only been beaten once in their last 10 closed the gap on League One leaders Tranmere to one point.
Boro: Arnold, Gray, N’Gala, Roberts, Charles, Morais, Dunne (Grant), Tansey, Freeman (Risser), Akins (Rogers), Haber
Subs not used: Day, Iro, Lopez, Shroot
Portsmouth will hand either John Akinde or Ashley Harris a place up front as on-loan Patrick Agyemang is unlikely to feature versus his parent club.
Stevenage will be without Robin Shroot after his injury against Hartlepool so Anthony Grant is likely to keep his place in midfield. This is expected to be the only change to the starting XI from Monday’s 1-0 win.
The Portsmouth Scout Report
Whilst Portsmouth sit in 22nd place and look set for a season in League 2 next year, their recent form has in fact been highly impressive. Pompey are unbeaten in their last four matches, picking up wins against Coventry (2-0) and Tranmere (1-0) and draws versus Doncaster and Preston, and have suffered just two defeats in their last 11 games.
Fratton Park is also becoming more of the fortress it is renowned for, with Guy Whittingham’s men unbeaten at home since early February – a run of five games which have resulted in three wins and two draws. Overall Pompey have seen 6 wins, 4 draws and 11 defeats in front of their own fans, during which time they’ve scored 24 and conceded 27.
Possible Portsmouth line-up for Saturday (4-4-2 formation):
Simon Eastwood; Yassin Moutaouakil, Gabor Gyepes, Sam Sodje, Shaun Cooper; Jed Wallace, Johnny Ertl, Therry Racon, Jack Maloney; John Akinde, David Connolly
Subs from: Liam Walker, Phil Smith, Adam Webster, Dan Butler, Ashley Harris, Ricardo Rocha
Veteran striker David Connolly has been trying his best to put some smiles back on the faces of the Pompey faithful with some decent performances of late and five goals for the club. The former Republic of Ireland international, who played 41 times for his country and scored 9 goals, arrived at Portsmouth on a free transfer having played for a number of clubs throughout his career including Watford, Feyenoord, Wimbledon, West Ham, Leicester, Sunderland and Southampton. The 36-year old has recently struck up a promising partnership with on-loan Boro striker Patrick Agyemang with the Ghanaian also notching twice during his spell on the south coast.