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npower championship fixture
Kick off 3pm (GMT)
Match Report from the News
Sorry Pompey tharashed by Clarets
Report from the News
By Jordan Cross
Published on Saturday 31 March 2012 17:22
Pompey’s survival hopes were dealt a devastating blow as they were crushed by Burnley.
Michael Appleton’s side went down to a 5-1 thumping to the Clarets at Fratton Park.
That gives them a mountain to climb in their bid to stay in the Championship this season.
Burnley took the lead against the run of play after 16 minutes when Kieran Trippier blasted in Chris McCann’s corner.
The Blues levelled three minutes later when David Norris rifled in Luke Varney’s cross. PHOTO below: Norris congratulated by team mates after scoring the equalizer.
It looked set for Pompey to take control of the game, but Burnley took the lead through Danny Ings’ header two minutes after the restart.
And that paved the way for a total collapse as edginess crept in to the crowd and the home side’s game.
Sub Charlie Austin helped himself to hat-trick after entering the fray.
He looked to handle his opener after 74 minutes, but then grabbed two more in stoppage time.
Jason Pearce played a short backpass to Jamie Ashdown which Austin took advantage of.
Austin then finished a breakaway with a tap in as the Clarets got their first win in seven in the most emphatic style.
Pompey are now five points from safety with six games left.
Match preview from Fratton Faithful
By Jim Bonner
Updated Friday, 30th March 2012
The "great escape" continues...
Pompey take on Burnley tomorrow in another "must win" game in the fight for Championship survival.
Michael Appleton is likely to name an unchanged side from the 2-0 win over Hull though Kelvin Etuhu and Marko Futacs will again be pushing to start.
Eddie Howe may be without star striker Jay Rodriguez who is rated doubtful with a hip injury but he has no other concerns.
Pompey fans may well be planning a takeover of the club, as Peter Storrie may well be doing the same but for now the focus here will be on tomorrow's important match.
The team will be on a high following arguably the best performance of the season against Hull on Tuesday night. Couple that with the 4-1 hammering of Birmingham in the previous home game along with Burnley's form and you can see why everyone is so optimistic.
The Clarets are winless in seven games, concede goals for fun and their season has dissolved into nothing having looked so promising six weeks ago.
That may make them dangerous opposition as they can play with little pressure and plenty of freedom but at the same time they will probably lack the desire and energy that our lads will have, knowing that Pompey desperately need to win this game.
The common belief is that they will. The team is settled, playing some great attacking football on their own turf and are sound at the back. The only way Pompey will fail to win this game is if nerves get the better of them and/or profligacy hits the squad.
What a feelng it would be going to our neighbours down the road next week on the back of back-to-back victories.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
GK: Jamie ASHDOWN
RB: Tal BEN-HAIM
CB: Greg HALFORD
CB: Jason PEARCE
LB: Karim REKIK
RM: Scott ALLAN
CM: George THORNE
CM: David NORRIS
LM: Joel WARD
CF: Luke VARNEY
CF: Chris MAGUIRE
GK: Lee GRANT
RB: Kieran TRIPPIER
CB: Michael DUFF
CB: David EDGAR
LB: Ben MEE
RM: Dean MARNEY
CM: Marvin BARTLEY
CM: Chris McCANN
LM: Ross WALLACE
CF: Martin PATERSON
CF: Danny INGS
Last Time: Portsmouth 1 Burnley 2 (Championship - 25/01/2011)
Jay Rodriguez gave Burnley the lead after tapping in a cross but Pompey responded quickly after Kanu sent John Utaka through on goal, and the Nigerian made no mistake in equalising.
However, a dire game ended in defeat thanks to Dean Marney's overhead kick as Eddie Howe got his first win as Burnley boss at the expense of his club's former manager.
Despite Burnley's poor run they still know how to find the net and I think this game will be more difficult than some fans think. Still, given Pompey's recent performances at home and the importance of this game I think it will be another win for Appy's men.
Portsmouth 2 Burnley 1
Match Preview from TrueBluearmy.com
Pompey fans have launched their bid to buy their club, and Peter Storrie is acting as a link between the administrators and a group which is also interested.
Important developments - but arguably of as much importance in the club's efforts to remain a business that's worth buying is their bid to stay in the Championship, which reaches another critical stage as Burnley come to Fratton Park on Saturday afternoon.
Two wins in their last three, over Birmingham and Hull, have given the Blues not only a chance of staying up but great belief they can. They didn't just scrape wins over two of the division's better sides - they beat them convincingly. Another such triumph over Eddie Howe's team would be welcome - so would one of those aforementioned scrappy wins.
Pompey's position at the bottom of the table, though still one of considerable peril, is a lot healthier than it was a fortnight ago. They have edged in front of Doncaster - whose Friday night 3-1 defeat at home to Birmingham leaves them a point behind and having played a game more, while Coventry and Bristol City are just two and three points ahead respectively.
And Pompey's goal difference is at least 14 goals better than everyone else in the bottom five, which, at this stage, is as good as having an extra point.
The visit of Burnley, whose early-season play-off hopes have faded so badly their best hope now is that they might still scrape a top-half finish, represents a real opportunity for a third home win in 12 days - although with nothing much to play for, the Clarets might actually pose more of a threat than their nervy-looking play-off chasing two predecessors have managed, even if they have not won in seven league games.
Pompey go into the game on the pitch lifted by positive moves in their effort to save the club long-term off it.
The Pompey Supporters’ Trust have launched a community share scheme, while Peter Storrie has revealed he is acting for a group interested in buying the club - and while the latter plan might not please those who say Storrie should take a share of the blame for the position the club now finds itself in, it does at least show there is at least some interest in the debt-ridden Blues.
In the PST plan, fans are asked to pledge a deposit of £100 into an account held by an independent third party. The trust says share documents will be released once thousands of people make the minimum down payment. They will then have the chance to acquire a community share for £1,000 and the trust will be in a position to release a detailed proposal to buy the club.
As for Storrie he is playing down his own role in the would-be buyers' group. He told The News: ‘It’s not a consortium. It’s just someone I know that might be interested in the club. They want to remain confidential. I’m advising the people that are interested and liaising with Trevor Birch with figures and going through them with him. I’m just an intermediate.
‘They are a company that’s already involved in sport – but not football. It’s at an early stage. We have got information to look at and it’s up to them to take it to the next stage and go to Trevor Birch.’
It all makes for an interesting backdrop to Burnley's visit, which could end in Pompey completing their first double of the season, having won 1-0 at Turf Moor in December thanks to David Norris's late strike.
Luca Scapuzzi is pushing for a full debut, after starting on the bench for the last two games. Kelvin Etuhu is another who could be promoted to the starting line-up, though an unchanged starting line-up is perhaps more likely. Scapuzzi's fellow City youngster Karim Rekik is likely to keep his place at left-back. Aaron Mokoena, Kanu, Benjani and Dave Kitson are all set to miss out again, though.
Burnley could be without top scorer Jay Rodriguez. The 21-goal striker missed the 2-2 draw with West Ham after aggravating a hip problem. Boss Eddie Howe has a clean bill of health otherwise.
Boss Michael Appleton believes the win over Hull has given his team a big psychological boost heading into the final seven games of the season.
‘We have a week to prepare for the following game after this one, so it’s all or nothing this week,' he said. 'We won’t be holding anything back and, hopefully, will come away with another victory.
‘It almost became last-chance saloon and we knew we had to pick up the three points against Hull. A draw wouldn’t have been good enough to put pressure on the other teams above us. The result has now told the other teams we are here right up until the end. If we get the same sort of performance, hopefully that will be good enough to get the three points.’
Our prediction: Pompey 1 Burnley 0
Match preview from Vital Pompey
The term 'must win' has been thrown around a lot in the last few weeks, and so far, Pompey have only won 2 of their 4 'must win' games. On Saturday, the Blues hope to make it 3 from 5 as Burnley visit Fratton Park for what will be Portsmouth's 8th and final game in March.
A win for Pompey could see them climb out of the drop zone just weeks after being assigned as 'dead certs' for the plunge to League 1, but with 6 tough games still to play there could be a number of twists and turns left in the title race.
Portsmouth Team News:
Pompey escaped unscathed from Tuesday's victory over Hull, with Joel Ward shaking off a knock he received in the first half to last the 90 minutes. After resting Ricardo Rocha, Appleton will have a tough decision in regards to bringing him back in or sticking with the impressive 17-year old Karim Rekik, who was very impressive on his debut for the club.
Player to watch: Luke Varney
Varney hasn't exactly been firing on all cylinders of late, and with Maguire being our star man in the last few games, Luke will be looking to remind the manager and the fans that he can be a creditable threat.
Burnley Team News:
Eddie Howe's men have had an extra few days of rest over the Blues, and have should have the same players available that held on for a point against West Ham last Saturday. More importantly, they may see the return of their danger man...
Player to watch: Jay Rodriguez
The England U21 international has missed the last 3 games with a groin problem, but could be set to return this weekend. He has scored 15 of Burnley's 50 goals in the Championship this season, and has the attention of a few Premiership clubs.
Match Facts & Stats
Pompey have amassed 7 points from their last 3 games at Fratton Park whereas Burnley haven't won in their last 7 games. Away from home, Burnley have one of the best records in the league, winning 8 games.
Head to head
there is nothing to separate the two sides, each boasting 20 wins to their name, with 9 games finishing level. It took a 93rd minute goal from David Norris to separate these two sides when they met earlier in the season, giving Portsmouth a rare away win.
If Pompey play like they did against Hull on Tuesday then it should be another 3 huge points. But two things we should be wary of is complacency and fatigue. I'm gonna punt for a win, but it won't be comfortable or pleasant to watch at times. 1-0 to Pompey with a scrappy goal midway through the second half.
Just a little trip to 'that lot down the road'. Here comes the noisiest bubble you'll ever hear
Match preview from the Pompey Pages
Pompey v Burnley: PREVIEW
Posted by Pompey Pages ⋅ March 31, 2012 ⋅ By Kyle Whitworth
Former Pompey player, Eddie Howe, and his Burnley charges are today’s visitors at Fratton Park. The Clarets will be hoping to fare better than Hull who were comprehensively beaten here on Tuesday night. The games continue thick and fast for Michael Appleton’s troops, who will be looking to build on the 2-0 victory over the Tigers and gain valuable momentum going into the South Coast Derby next week. Burnley find themselves comfortably in mid-table and Eddie Howe will want to see a performance despite no real target for the remainder of the season.
Aaron Mokoena is still struggling with an ankle injury, and is not expected to feature, whilst Benjani, Kanu and Kitson are likely to be shifted out of the picture.
On-loan forward Luca Scapuzzi will be hoping to play more of a part in today’s game, but Michael Appleton may be tempted to stick with the winning side from Tuesday night, after an impressive performance – opting for a Luke Varney and Chris Maguire partnership.
Greg Halford remains one booking away from a one-match suspension, so Ricardo Rocha may return to the starting line up to ensure Halford is available for the 17-mile trip to St Fairies on Saturday.
Burnley will be without top scorer Jay Rodriguez with a hip injury, but have no other injury concerns for the fixture.
Summer Pompey target Martin Paterson is expected to start up front for the visitors in place of Rodriguez.
Pompey and Burnley have met 51 times in the league, and if history is anything to go by this game could go either way. Pompey have won 22 of the encounters, with the Clarets winning 21.
Burnley will be hoping for a repeat of last year’s Fratton Park fixture where goals from Jay Rodriguez and Dean Marney sunk the Blues on a drab Tuesday evening, ironically with Mr Atwell the referee in charge, as he will be today.
Pompey last beat Burnley at home in December 2009 as goals from Herman Hreidarsson and Aruna Dindane secured a 2-0 victory.
A stoppage time winner from David Norris gave Pompey all three points in this years reverse fixture in December.
Pompey have risen from the foot of the table to sit 23rd on 33 points, and should results go their way they will be out the relegation zone come 5pm. Burnley are 16th on 50 points, unlikely to make a push for the play-off places and comfortably out of the relegation battle however Eddie Howe will be concerned by a winless streak of 7 games, which could threaten the Turf Moor side with a more tense run in than expected.
Pompey’s last 5 (league): LDWLW
Burnley 5 (league): LDDLD
Possible Pompey line-up: Ashdown; Ben-Haim, Pearce, Halford, Rekik; Ward, Thorne, Allan, Norris; Varney, Maguire
Possible Burnley line-up: Grant; Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Mee; McCann, Wallace, Marney, Bartley; Paterson, Ings