Portsmouth v West Brom
Saturday 17 December
Kick-off: 1500 GMT
BBC Radio Five Live
Portsmouth goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown faces a late fitness test on a knee
injury, with Sander Westerveld waiting in the wings.
Salif Diao is still out with a hamstring strain but Uruguay striker Dario
Silva could figure.
West Brom's Steve Watson is doubtful with a hamstring strain so Martin
Albrechtsen could start at right-back.
Chris Kirkland ia available again but Tomasz Kuszczak has kept three clean
sheets in the last four league games.
Portsmouth (from): Ashdown, Westerveld, Primus, O'Brien, Stefanovic,
Griffin, O'Neil, Viafara, Hughes, Taylor, Robert, Pericard, LuaLua, Silva,
Vukic, Cisse, Priske, Todorov, Guatelli.
West Brom (from): Kuszczak, Kirkland, Watson, Albrechtsen, Clement, Davies,
Moore, Gaardsoe, Robinson, Greening, Wallwork, Inamoto, Kamara, Kanu,
Ellington, Earnshaw, Campbell, Carter.
West Brom boss Bryan Robson:
"We've put in some good performances , so we want to continue that
(four-match unbeaten league) run.
"If we can get a result, that will be great as it will put a bit of distance
between ourselves and Portsmouth.
"But I know Harry Redknapp will have his team fired up after taking charge
there, and I'm sure they'll fly out of the blocks to get at us."
a.. PORTSMOUTH chimes will welcome back Harry Redknapp for his first home
game in charge after a year-long sojourn to south coast adversaries
Southampton. But the returning 58 year old manager has a Herculean task on
his hands to preserve Pompey's Premiership status, especially after they
tumbled to a fifth successive League defeat at Tottenham on Monday in a game
which turned on a controversial penalty decision by referee Uriah Rennie.
That left Pompey six points below the safety mark. Redknapp will be looking
for similar commitment to that on show at White Hart Lane, as the Fratton
Park faithful look for a first home win of the season against an improving
West Bromwich side, yet to win away.
a.. No points and one goal scored in five Premiership outings is
Portsmouth's unimpressive recent record. They've recorded one victory in 11
top tier engagements, scoring four goals in that one success at rock bottom
Sunderland - their only maximum in three months. Apart from that, Pompey
have not managed more than a single goal in any other League game this
season. Meanwhile at the other end, they've shipped 11 in four, conceding
three goals in each of the last two at Manchester United and Tottenham.
a.. Pompey won their only previous home Premiership contest with West Brom
just over a year ago. They struck twice in the last five minutes from Arjan
De Zeeuw and Lomano LuaLua to win by the odd goal in five - two of which
were own goals. That was the first meeting of three so far staged in the
Premiership between these clubs, and all three have been home wins.
a.. WEST BROMWICH ALBION head for Hampshire on a run of four without defeat,
four points above the trap door, and in search of back-to-back victories for
the first time in 23 top flight engagements, since Charlton (a) and Everton
(h) were beaten by them on 19 March and 3 April respectively. Bryan Robson
has seen his side win two and draw two since their loss at West Ham on Guy
Fawkes Day. While Portsmouth's return of 10 points from the first 16 games
is the worst start of their three Premiership seasons, the Baggies tally of
a point-a-game from the initial 16 is their best in three seasons in this
a.. Each of these clubs have played 92 Premiership matches in their
history - Portsmouth have recorded 24 wins to West Brom's 16. But the
Baggies are seeking a 10th maximum in Robson's 43rd League game in charge.
Portsmouth have weighed in with one victory in 10 home Premiership matches,
while Albion are winless in 11 on the road - claiming six points from the 33
a.. Geoff Horsfield scored twice in Albion's 2-1 home victory over Pompey in
August. That gives them the chance of a first Premiership 'double' over
Pompey, and 12th of all time.
Mark Halsey (Lancashire)
19th 10 points
Highest achievable after Saturday's matches: 18th
Lowest could fall: 19th
a.. Lost the last five Premiership matches against Wigan (0-2 h), Liverpool
(3-0 a), Chelsea (0-2 h), Manchester United (3-0 a) and Tottenham (3-1 a).
a.. Won one of the last 12 in all competitions.
a.. Only victory in 11 top tier outings was 1-4 at rock bottom Sunderland on
a.. Lost six of the last seven in the highest division.
a.. Failed to score in seven of their 16 League games this term, and in six
of the last 10.
a.. Gone eight since keeping a Premiership clean sheet.
a.. The goalless draw, home to Newcastle on 1 October, is the only shut-out
in 11 League attempts.
a.. Managed only two block-outs at the highest League level this season.
a.. Chalked up 12 fewer points than at this identical stage last season.
a.. This is their worst ever start to a Premiership campaign. The previous
lowest points tally after the first 16 outings was 16 in the season before
last - their first experience of life in the Premier League. In that
campaign they finished 13th, despite only accruing 16 points from the first
a.. Scored in excess of a single goal in only one top flight game this term
and in one of the last 19.
a.. Yet to score in the last 10 minutes of a Premiership game this season.
a.. The only club still without at least one player to have appeared in each
of the club's Premiership games this term.
a.. Next to bottom of the Premiership's "Last Six Current Form" table with
three points from the possible 18. Sunderland are the only club beneath on
a.. Gained 24 wins in 92 Premier League matches all time.
a.. Winless at home (three draws, four defeats).
a.. Picked up just three points at home from 1-1 draws with Aston Villa and
Birmingham, and a goalless stalemate against Newcastle.
a.. Lost last three home League clashes, against Charlton, Wigan and
a.. One of two clubs without a home Premiership victory. The other is
a.. Gone eight matches since a home win.
a.. Won one of the last 10 top tier encounters at Fratton Park.
WEST BROMWICH ALBION
17th 16 points
Highest achievable after Saturday's matches: 13th
Lowest could fall: 17th
a.. Unbeaten in four League games.
a.. Won two and drawn two Premiership matches, since losing 1-0 to West Ham
at Upton Park on 5 November.
a.. Lost eight of the last 14 top flight outings.
a.. Failed to score in five of the last nine Premier League contests.
a.. Opened the scoring in five Premiership games. No club has led the way
a.. Not conceded in two games, or 204 minutes (three hours 24 minutes) of
Premiership football since Yakubu's 66th minute penalty for Middlesbrough at
the Hawthorns on 27 November.
a.. Kept clean sheets in three of the last four League games.
a.. This is still the club's best start to a Premier League season. The
previous best after the first 16 and 17 games was 17 points in 2002/03 -
their first experience of this League, which ended in relegation.
a.. Failed to score in one of the last four League games and in four of the
a.. One of two clubs without an away Premiership victory. The other is
a.. Held Manchester City, Sunderland and Middlesbrough and lost the other
four Premiership matches away from home.
a.. Own the weakest record in Premiership matches away from home this season
(three draws and four defeats from seven, with three goals scored and 12
a.. Winless in 11 top tier away games - the longest such sequence in the
a.. Drawn six and lost five of the last 11 Premiership matches on the road,
since a 1-4 triumph at Charlton on 19 March.
a.. Won only one of 21 away League games under Bryan Robson (at Charlton, 10
a.. Own the weakest attack away from home in the highest echelon with just
a.. Failed to score in five of seven top tier encounters on the road.
a.. Managed just one clean sheet in 25 Premiership duels away from the
Hawthorns since the beginning of last season. That came from a goalless draw
at Manchester City in this season's opening fioxture.
a.. Achieved three block-outs in 45 matches in the club's Premier League
away day history.
a.. Looking for a 5th win in 46 away Premier League engagements.
KEY PLAYER NOTES/POTENTIAL MILESTONES
No remaining Portsmouth player has appeared in every Premiership match this
WEST BROMWICH ALBION
a.. This match provides the opportunity of an "old boys' reunion" for
Russell HOULT and Darren MOORE.
a.. Diomansy KAMARA was on loan to Portsmouth from Madena last season.
a.. If he participates, Darren CARTER will be playing on the eve of his 22nd
a.. Robert EARNSHAW is a hat trick shy of 100 English League goals.
a.. EARNSHAW is one short of 100 goals in the English and Scottish Leagues
(Cardiff, Morton and West Brom).
a.. Nathan ELLINGTON, needs three more to total 100 in his League career.
a.. Geoff HORSFIELD has scored three goals in two Premiership appearances
a.. If he gets a run out, Andy JOHNSON will be making his 100th appearance
in top flight soccer.
a.. If involved, Neil CLEMENT will be making his 250th appearance for the
LAST SEASON'S CORRESPONDING GAME:
Portsmouth 3-2 West Bromwich Albion
4 December 2004 - Ref: Peter Walton
Portsmouth scorers: Purse 35 og, De Zeeuw 85, LuaLua 89
WBA scorers: Stefanovic 14 og, Earnshaw 45
THIS SEASON'S REVERSE FIXTURE:
West Bromwich Albion 2-1 Portsmouth
20 August 2005 - Ref: Mike Riley
WBA scorers: Horsfield 2, 59
Portsmouth scorer: Robert 63
HEAD TO HEAD TOTALS
League: Portsmouth 17 wins, WBA 40, Draws 12
Prem: Portsmouth 1 win, WBA 2, Draws 0
HEAD TO HEAD at Portsmouth
League: Portsmouth 10 wins, WBA 15, Draws 9
Prem: Portsmouth 1 win, WBA 0, Draws 0