The Blues returned to winning ways on Saturday when they convincingly beat Barnet 5-1 at Fratton Park. The goals were all scored by different players, which is encouraging as it shows there are goals throughout the team. Pompey weren’t able to keep a clean sheet after a John Akinde penalty put them 1-0 down, but recovered well to seal an emphatic victory. Paul Cook will be wanting more of the same at Bloomfield Road tomorrow night.
Blackpool have not adapted especially well after dropping down from League One and are currently 16th in the division. They come into the match on the back of a 1-1 draw with Crewe Alexandra, and have won just one of their last five league games. The Tangerines are enduring a miserable time under their owner, Owen Oyston, and Pompey will be trying to ensure their torrid time continues beyond Tuesday.
One to watch:
Blackpool have a couple of players who are performing well individually at the moment, but just don’t seem to be able to grind out results. Armand Gnanduillet has registered three league goals so far, while Brad Potts has scored three times from midfield. Meanwhile, Jamille Matt, whom Pompey fans will remember from last season’s play-off semi-final, is not even getting in the starting lineup of late.
Blackpool tend to play an old-fashioned 4-4-2 system, which sees Gnanduillet and Kyle Vassell operating as the two strikers. Vassell tends to play off Gnanduillet, who is 6’ 4”, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jamille Matt starting over Vassell due to his past record when playing against Portsmouth.
We’ve seen you before…:
Although, to my knowledge, Blackpool do not have any former Blues players, the Tangerines have two horribly familiar faces to the Fratton faithful in Jamille Matt and Kelvin Mellor. They were both part of the Plymouth team who defeated Pompey in last season’s play-off semi-final, and the sight of them will bring back some unhappy memories for some supporters.
Pompey bounced back from their 1-0 defeat at Accrington Stanley by thrashing Barnet at the weekend, meaning they have won four of their last five matches. The man in form at the moment is Gary Roberts who has notched six goals so far this season and will be looking for another tomorrow night.
Paul Cook has suggested that he will stick with an unchanged team from the one which faced the Bees at Fratton Park. This would see Conor Chaplin retain his place up front for only his second start since March, and would continue Gareth Evans’ run in the team at right-back. I am expecting Cook to name an unchanged lineup at Bloomfield Road, which would see this team named:
The match is likely to be a hard-fought one, which may not see the most fluid of football played by either side. However, I think Pompey will come out on top with a 2-1 win. The away form has been less than impressive so far this season so the team will be very keen to put that right tomorrow evening.
Man of the Match prediction:
Michael Doyle was given the official Man of the Match award on Saturday for his battling performance against a physical Barnet side, and I am expecting him to have to put in a similar performance on Tuesday. The Blues captain is one of the most consistent performers in the side and the 35 year-old can be relied upon to ensure that his opponents in midfield have a very uncomfortable evening.
First goalscorer prediction:
Although he does not always have much of an effect in general play, one thing you can count on Conor Chaplin to do is score goals. He has a knack of popping up in the right place at the right time – similar to what Matt Tubbs used to do – to score tap-ins. He is always a decent bet to score when he plays and tomorrow will be no different.