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Man City v Portsmouth

City of Manchester Stadium
Saturday, 30 April
Kick-off: 1500 BST
BBC Radio Five Live



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Manchester City will stick with the same side despite Jon Macken returning to the squad.
Jihai Sun, Trevor Sinclair and Geert de Vlieger are long-term absentees, while Antoine Sibierski will provide support for Robbie Fowler.

Portsmouth will be without Lomana LuaLua (hamstring) who is out for the season, as well as Patrik Berger (ankle) and Andy Griffin (knee).

Diomansy Kamara, Giannis Skopelitis and Aliou Cisse are set to step in.




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Man City boss Stuart Pearce on qualifying for the Uefs Cup
"I have not given up chasing the dream, why should I?
"We will move up one place for certain if we win because Tottenham and Villa are playing each other.

"We do need results to go our way but it can still happen. In an ideal world we will take it to the last game against Middlesbrough."


Portsmouth boss Alain Perrin:
"I go into every game positive and wanting to win. We need a point to be assured of safety. We will be playing to at least gain that.
"Manchester City will be difficult because they don't give away too much at home so we will have to fight.

"But we want to end this season on a high, and I think there is no reason why that should not be the case."



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Man City (from): James, Weaver, Mills, Onuoha, Dunne, Distin, Sommeil, Jordan, Thatcher, Croft, Bosvelt, S Wright-Phillips, McManaman, Reyna, Flood, Barton, Sibierski, Musampa, Fowler, Macken, B Wright-Phillips.

BIG-MATCH FACTS


MANCHESTER CITY against Portsmouth sees two of the most Premiership's recent managerial appointments going head-to-head. When this game takes place it will be 50 days since Stuart Pearce was installed as acting manager at Eastlands. He has seen City bank nine points out of a possible 18 from two wins, three draws and one defeat. Pearce's opposite number, Alain Perrin, will have been in position as the permanent Portsmouth boss 23 days on Saturday. He's overseen four games so far - two wins, one draw and one defeat.

City are unbeaten in five. They're chasing three clean sheets on the bounce, and three home victories in a row to retain their position in the top half of the table.

Portsmouth provided the opposition for the Citizens first match at their new home, the City of Manchester Stadium last season. Yakubu's goal threatened to make it an unrewarding opening game, but a 90th minute header from defender David Sommeil secured a point. City have not been beaten by Portsmouth in a home League game for 42 years - winning six and drawing four in the 10 matches played. Antoine Sibierski's second goal in successive games helped City to a first win in six and handed Portsmouth their third Premiership defeat in a row in this season's reverse fixture. That puts the Light Blues on course for a seventh 'double' over Pompey since they first met in League competition in 1926.

PORTSMOUTH travel to the north west buoyed by a 4-1 home triumph over arch rivals Southampton, which all but secured their Premiership status and plunged Saints into even deeper trouble at the foot.

Perrin's Pompey are eight points above the drop zone with three to play. They've only won at Bolton and Crystal Palace on their top flight travels this term. Maximum points here would give the club back-to-back Premiership victories for only the second time this season, and first since Fulham and Crystal Palace left Fratton Park without a point in successive games on 30 August and 11 September.

Portsmouth's only win in 15 League visits to Manchester City was 0-2 in the old Second Division on 24 August 1963. Their last top flight maximum on City soil was 1-2 on 13 November 1954.


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Referee:

Andre Marriner (West Midlands)


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SEQUENCES/RECENT FORM

MANCHESTER CITY


Club stats
Fixtures
10th 45 points
Highest achievable after Saturday's matches: 8th
Lowest could fall: 10th

Unbeaten in five.
Won two and drawn three - all Premiership - since losing 2-1, away to Tottenham on 19 March.
Kept back-to-back clean sheets.
Conceded only one goal in four top flight outings.

Won the last two home matches - both Premiership - against Liverpool (1-0) and Birmingham (3-0).
Conceded only 13 times in home top flight encounters. Only Chelsea (six) and Manchester United (eight) have leaked fewer.
Kept five clean sheets in top flight games at Eastlands this season (v Charlton, Chelsea, Aston V, Liverpool and Birmingham).
Failed to score in five home League games (v Everton, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United and Bolton).
PORTSMOUTH


Club stats
Fixtures
15th 38 points
Highest achievable after Saturday's matches: 12th
Lowest could fall: 16th

Lost 17 Premiership matches this season. Only Crystal Palace (19) have been beaten more often.
Drawn eight top tier encounters. Only Liverpool (six), and Chelsea and Everton (seven each) have ended all square less often.
Gone in all square at half time on 21 of 35 occasions in top League games.
Opponents have scored first in 21 top division encounters this term, and only two of those 21 have been won (v West Brom and Middlesbrough - both at home).
Drawn level from being in arrears on 14 occasions in top flight matches this term - more times than any other club.
Kept five clean sheets in League games this term, against Spurs (h), Manchester United (h), Bolton (a), Crystal Palace (a) and Birmingham (a).
Bagged three fewer points than at this stage last season - their only previous Premiership campaign.

Won only two Premiership games away from home all season - both 0-1, at Bolton and Crystal Palace.
Not won in eight games away from home in all competitions.
Claimed just one point from a last available 21 on the road, from a goalless draw at Birmingham in the most recent game on their Premiership travels.
Won only four of 36 away matches in their Premiership history.
Not scored more than a goal a game in the last 14 away Premiership matches.
Only scored more than a single goal once in away Premiership games this term (2-2 at Norwich on 2 October).


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KEY PLAYER NOTES/POTENTIAL MILESTONES

MANCHESTER CITY


Squad profiles

If named in the 11, Antoine SIBIERSKI will be making his 50th Premiership start for City.
PORTSMOUTH


Squad profiles

Should he figure, Lomana LUALUA will be making his 100th appearance in English top flight football.


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LAST SEASON'S CORRESPONDING GAME:
Manchester City 1-1 Portsmouth
23 August 2003 - Ref: Matt Messias
Man City scorer: Sommeil 90
Portsmouth scorer: Yakubu 24



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THIS SEASON'S REVERSE FIXTURE:
Portsmouth 1-3 Manchester City
20 November 2004 - Ref: Matt Messias
Portsmouth scorer: O'Neil 8
Man City scorers: Shaun Wright-Phillips 6, Sibierski 79, Bosvelt 87



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HEAD TO HEAD TOTALS
League: Man City 31 wins, Portsmouth 21, Draws 15
Prem: Man City 1 win, Portsmouth 1, Draws 1

HEAD TO HEAD at Manchester City
League: Man City 21 wins, Portsmouth 5, Draws 7
Prem: Man City 0 wins, Portsmouth 0, Draws 1
 

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Come on City, if we win this, its our best run of Premiership form in 11 years. Do it for Pearce dammit!
 

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I was wrong. An easy win. This is City's best run in the prem since 1994! I think Pearce has convinced the board he is the man for the job now.
 

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Get in! 2-0, and 3 points off Europe. If we can beat Villa and Boro we will get 7th most likely. Ideally Villa will beat Spurs to put Spurs behind us, so we can leapfrog Villa when we beat them, and then leapfrog Boro. I've got it all planned out. Its just a shame we didn't win one of them away games we drew. Come on City, 7th is still on!
 
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