Portsmouth v Bristol Rovers Match Preview

By Simon Gray

 

The race for a place in the League Two play offs once again intensifies this weekend as eighth placed Portsmouth entertain fifth placed Bristol Rovers.

Pompey go into the game on the back of a home defeat to Leyton Orient last week whilst The Gas had a week off due to a postponement to their match against AFC Wimbledon.

Paul Cook has only one injury concern with midfielder Danny Hollands still recovering from a broken leg. Both Adam McGurk and Adam Barton are likely to feature despite picking up knocks in a reserve match.

Centre back Adam Webster, who missed the 1-0 defeat last week is set to come back into the side following his hamstring problem.

Speaking to Portsmouth News, First-team coach Ian Foster said: “Adam had a tight hamstring last week.

“It wasn’t a strain of any grade, just tightness from the Morecambe match. He was okay, just a bit tight.

“Rather than play in the reserves, he spent Tuesday morning with the youth team for an hour and come through unscathed.

“He then trained with the rest of the group on Wednesday and did fine, so he is okay.”

Meanwhile, Darrell Clarke has no injury concerns whatsoever with Goalkeeper Will Puddy returning to full training this week and is expected to be on the bench at Fratton Park.

The 28-year-old shot stopper has only played 45 minutes all season due to a groin injury.

“He suffered a grade two tear in his groin muscle at Dagenham, but his rehabilitation has gone without a hitch and he returned to full training last week.” Clarke told the Bristol Post.

Clarke has also spoke of the importance of the fixture this Saturday, speaking of Portsmouth’s history in the English top flight that ended just six years ago in the 2009/10 season.

“I’ve been over to Portsmouth three or four times this season and the way their supporters get behind their team is phenomenal.

“They are a proper club with a very loyal fanbase and I would be doing them a disservice if I said it was just another game.

“We will have a big following behind us as well so it promises to be a tremendous atmosphere but we are going there under no illusions as to how difficult the task that awaits us will be.

Rovers will be taking nearly 3000 supporters to the match, added to Portsmouth’s regular large number of home supporters, the match is expected to be one to of the biggest crowds of the season.

Stats

Just two points separate the teams in the League Two table.

At the Memorial Stadium earlier this season it ended Rovers 1-2 Pompey

Bristol Rovers’ last away win at Portsmouth came in October 1975.

21, Bristol Rovers fan for as long as i can remember. Highlight has to be to 06/07 Play Off win. Seen Rovers at 43/92 clubs in England and counting.

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