This game comes after the previous fixture was postponed after Fratton Park got a touch of frost. A win would send City seventh in the league.
Stephen Ireland talks up the match against Pompey saying: ‘Usually there is an improvement (when installing a new manager), but I don’t think we should look into what Portsmouth are doing too much. it’s more a case of how we are going to do it.
‘We need to push on and win these games, we beat them at home and now we are into the second half of the season so we have to try to do the same thing again.
‘We need to isolate ourselves in seventh place by winning a few games, rather than lose or draw games and get dragged into the pack around 11th. A good run is what we want, to stay around seventh place and see where we are nearer to the last few games of the season.
‘If we can get an early goal, say in the first 15 minutes or so, then we tend to be on our way. If we get to 70 minutes without scoring we find it more difficult. Getting that early goal means we can go on to beat teams well, we have done that at home and against Portsmouth a few months ago, so we have to look to do that this weekend.’
Portsmouth FC Team News:
The sacking of manager Tony Adams means that Paul Hart will take over as caretaker manager.
Armand Traore, Younes Kaboul and Marc Wilson are all declared fit and are available, however, Richard Hughes and Papa Bouba Diop are out with respective injuries.
Jermaine Pennant is a possibility to start after missing the clash with Liverpool.
Player to watch: David Nugent
Nugent has hit a purple patch of late with three goals in three starts and three substitute appearances. The 23 year old is Portmouth’s main threat and will keep our centre back’s busy.
Manchester City FC Team News:
Shaun Wright-Phillips starts a much debated three-match ban imposed by the big-four loving FA for tapping Rory Delap on the ankle after his violent conduct.
Richard Dunne is still suspended while injury plagued strikers, Bojinov and Benjani are close to recovery but still not fit.
Player to watch: Elano Blumer
After Elano’s recent comments regarding his commitment to Manchester City and his awe inspiring display for Brazil, the talented midfielder will be pulling the strings.
Match Facts & Stats
The last time City did the double over Portsmouth was back in 2004/2005.
33 goals in 11 Premier League meetings is an average of 3 goals per game. Expect goals.
Portsmouth’s 6-0 demolition at the hands of Manchester City earlier in the season was Pompey’s biggest ever defeat in the Premier League.
Chris Foy has refereed 17 games this season with 64 names on his yellow card and a solitary name on a red.
Foy has overseen one City game this term, a 3-0 thrashing of Sunderland- away. Lets hope he brings us more luck on our travels.
With an average of three goals a game, I expect there to be a few goals with City edging a closely contested match. Pompey 1-2 MCFC
FC Copenhagen away on Thursday 19th February with a 7.05pm kick off.
(First leg of UEFA Cup clash)