An unlucky and unfair result at home to West Ham last weekend saw Pompey’s short but sweet home record come to an end. The Blues now turn their attention to improving their away form having won only one game away from home this season, with a trip to the Cardiff City Stadium.
Pompey have been hit majorly with injury troubles and suspensions in the new year and it carries on for the trip to Cardiff.
David Norris serves the first of his three match ban following a debatable sending off against West Ham that the club decided to not appeal against. He could be replaced by new signing Kelvin Etuhu who joined on a free transfer on an initial one-month deal and could be set to face his former club.
Aaron Mokoena and Luke Varney have both been ruled out through their respective injuries, with Varney’s absence from the team really taking it’s toll, having been left out a lot longer than anyone thought through his knee injury, but could return for the away trip to Peterborough.
Late fitness tests will be handed to Hayden Mullins and Ricardo Rocha who are both struggling with calf injuries, whilst the rest of the squad could be filled up with some promising young lads from the academy, including Adam Webster, Sam Magri, and Ryan Williams.
Greg Halford has recovered from a serious illness that saw him struggle against West Ham and substituted later on in the game which should see him keep his starting place in defence.
For Cardiff, Robbie Earnshaw and Rudy Gestede will be given late fitness tests to prove themselves ahead of the fixture. Kevin McNaughton is ruled out with a calf injury.
This season they have seen a couple of those big players depart and as a result many expected Cardiff to settle for a mid-table/play-off position but after a slow start, the Bluebirds are going strong.
Head-to-head last season saw Pompey lose both home and away, with Pompey destroyed early on in the game in their trip to Welsh capital, Ricardo Rocha was sent-off early in the first half as well!
This season is a different story though, Pompey are looking stronger, and although Cardiff sit in third place, strong in the play-off positions, the Blues have already taken a point off them this season (read the fan report here).
Cotterill’s hoof tactics weren’t enough to take all three points against Cardiff at Fratton Park back in August but they were certainly there for the taking.
Many will remember our recent success against Cardiff City in the FA Cup final when Kanu netted to lift the trophy for the Blues.
Head-to-head throughout the years will see Pompey dubbed the slightly more dominant team with 23 wins and 15 draws from 58 games between the two sides.
Cardiff are currently third on 46 points, whilst Pompey have a game in-hand and are struggling in 17th on 31 points.
Pompey’s last 5 (league): DLDWL
Cardiff’s last 5 (league): LDWWD
Possible Pompey line-up: Henderson; Halford, Pearce, Rocha, Ben-Haim; Huseklepp, Ward, Etuhu, Lawrence; Futacs, Kitson
Possible Cardiff line-up: Marshall; Taylor, Blake, Turner, Hudson, Whittingham, Cowie, Gunnarsson; Mason, Miller