Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Saturday October 4 2008
5th October 2008
It's likely to be a wet and windy day at Fratton Park for the Potters first trip down since the old Divison One days in 2002 and it will be a reunion for two old friends with Tony Pulis up against his mentor from their Bournemouth days, Harry Redknapp.
With Griffin, Diao, Buxton, Pericard, Fuller and Amdy Faye all former Pompey players and with Pulis also having previous at Fratton Park (he was manager there for a few fraught months back in 2000) along with Mark O'Connor, it should help create a lively atmospshere.
Harry Redknapp knows TP better than most: 'We are playing a very, very fit, physical Stoke side on Sunday at Fratton Park and I've got to get people up again for another big game.'
Certainly Pulis would like to emulate Redknapp's success at Portsmouth: 'They were struggling badly before he managed to keep them up and he hasn't looked back. They finished eighth in the Premiership last season and won the FA Cup. That's a remarkable story.'
The 2-0 win against Spurs last weekend and an extra time come-back in the midweek UEFA cup tie will give Pompey added confidence and banish memories of the 6-0 thrashing they suffered at Manchester City last month. With Thursday night's match against Vitoria not ending until Friday morning, Redknapp may be forced into resting some players. Lassana Diarra is suspended and there are doubts over Papa Bouba Diop (hamstring) and John Utaka (knee).
Whilst Defoe has five goals this season, England striker, Peter Crouch will be on a high after his two extra time goals in Portugal gave his side a pass through to the group stages.
Liam Lawrence is definitely out after tripping over his dog (!).
Rory Delap may miss his second match in a row after pulling his hamstring and is only rated 50/50.
Ric didn't start last week's home tie against Chelsea after going down with a virus, but should now be fully fit. Fuller made 31 appearances for Pompey in 2004/5 before 'endearing' himself to the blue half of Hampshire and moving to Southampton.
A defeat will notch up the Potters' 1000th in the League.
Definitely a day for the Potters' first away win in the Premier League then...
Andre Marriner. Drafted in at the last minute to replace Mike Riley, who controversially sent off Cahill in the Merseyside derby last week when it originally looked like he was about to just get a yellow. Marriner presided over the Potters goalless draw against Liverpool last month.
Sunday 19th October: Spurs (home) kick-off: 4pm ** SKY TV **
Date:Saturday October 4 2008
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