Pompey managed to shake off their promotion hangover last weekend by beating play-off chasing Cambridge at Fratton Park, and they will need more of the same tomorrow to get a result against Mansfield.
The Stags picked up a key win last weekend against Stevenage and that now moves them up to ninth in League Two. They are a single point away from the play-offs and will have no shortage of motivation ahead of Saturday’s game. Mansfield are three matches unbeaten in League Two and will be hoping that they have hit a winning run at exactly the right time.
One to watch:
Matt Green in the club’s top scorer with ten goals this term, but Danny Rose has recently overtaken him in the pecking order and scored the winner against Stevenage last week. Therefore, he is likely to keep his place in the side tomorrow and the Blues’ defence will need to keep an eye on the striker.
It is difficult to predict how the Stags will line up, but they are most likely to set up in either a 4-4-2 or a 4-4-1-1 formation with Rose leading the line, with Shaquile Coulthirst playing either with him or just behind him. Meanwhile, Jake Kean will play in goal and has been in good form of late.
We’ve seen you before…:
Mansfield do not have any ex-Pompey players, but they do have a man with the same name as a Blues player. Danny Rose could well be partnering Michael Doyle in midfield for Pompey, but he will also be leading the line for Pompey’s opponents. Town also have Alfie Potter, who used to play up front for Havant & Waterlooville, famously scoring for them against Liverpool.
The Blues have been going well recently and will look to continue that as they make a late push for the league title. With promotion already secured, Pompey have nothing to lose and will not feel under any pressure, which will hopefully make for some exciting football in the final two matches of the season.
Last week saw Paul Cook shuffle the pack somewhat as he gav rare starts to Stanley Aborah and Nicke Kabamba, and it will be interesting to see what kind of side plays against Mansfield tomorrow. I fancy Kabamba to keep his place up front but Aborah will miss the game through injury so we can expect the return of Danny Rose to the starting eleven. Here is my predicted lineup:
I’m expecting a good game tomorrow but unfortunately Mansfield have more incentive to put in a performance than the Blues. Pompey have been severely lacking in high scoring games this season but that could be all about to change tomorrow, as I’m going for a high scoring 3-2 win for the hosts.
Pompey’s Nicke Kabamba is yet to score his first Football League goal and, if truth be told, I was not so impressed with him last Saturday. However, he has been free scoring for the reserves so I see no reason why he can’t translate that form into tomorrow’s game.