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Manchester City vs. Portsmouth FC

City of Manchester Stadium

20th April 2008


On Sky

MCFC v Portsmouth

A rather curious week in the press for City as conflicting stories have been flying around at what will be happening to the club in the close season with its employees including the manager Sven Goran Eriksson. This game holds different importance for both teams. Portsmouth want to finish the season off well and go into the FA cup final in good form. City want to finish the season in an intertoto place and so ten points from their final four games should ensure that; starting with a victory over Portsmouth.

This game also sees the returns of players against their former clubs and Sylvain Distin will surely get a rather frosty reception from the City faithful for his distain at not signing a City contract and leaving on a free transfer.

Vital Quotes:

Sven talks about the remaining games of the season: 'So we just go on trying to beat Portsmouth and work as well as possible on the training ground and then play as well as we can on Sunday. Then comes Fulham and so on.

'There are four games to be played and I`m rather confident that we will do well and we still have a chance to reach Europe.

'When we started the season well, the dream of playing in Europe was planted in the heads of he players and myself, so we are still fighting for that and hope we can do it.

Manchester City Team News:

Benjani is set to face his former club for the first time since his protracted deadline-day move to City in January. The Zimbabwe striker scored 12 goals for Pompey in the first half of the season and although the deal did not appear to go through in time, it eventually got the go-ahead.

Micah Richards has just missed out as he continues his recovery from knee surgery while Nedum Onuoha (dislocated shoulder) is out for the season so Vedran Corluka should continue in the centre of the City defence alongside Richard Dunne.

City goalkeeper Joe Hart has returned to training after suffering a knock at Sunderland and striker Daniel Sturridge is doubtful with the knee problem that ruled him out of the youth team's midweek cup success.

Valeri Bojinov is also near a first team re-call as he played sixty minutes for the reserves this week.

Player to watch: Benjani Mwaruwari

Facing his former club he might have something extra to show against his former employees after not scoring for a while in City colours.

Portsmouth FC Team News:

John Utaka, Lassana Diarra and Milan Baros are all set to return following injury, with Baros likely to partner Jermain Defoe up front.

Defender Glen Johnson is expected to recover in time from an illness while Redknapp could rest Niko Kranjcar after a busy period for the Croatia midfielder.

Player to watch: Jermaine Defoe

The live wire forward who replaced Benjani at Fratton Park is in a rich vein of form and has scored against City a few times during his playing career.

Match Facts & Stats

Portsmouth have never beaten City at the City of Manchester stadium and you have to go back 1963 since Portsmouth last had a victory in Manchester.

Ref Watch:

Andre Marriner - not the worst referee and officiating his fourth City game this season and his third Portsmouth game.

Match Prediction:

Portsmouth will give City a very good game but City have only been beaten three times at home in the league by teams that are all better than Portsmouth and so I feel a narrow victory for City is on the cards with Benjani scoring the winner. City 1 - 0 Portsmouth

Next Fixtures:

Fulham at home with a Saturday 3pm kick off on the 26th April.

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The journalist

Writer: Gavin Cooper  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday April 19 2008

Time: 5:44PM

Your Comments

Think I'd like a City win as long as Villa beat Blues tomorrow. Then we'll be back above Pompey! do you guys want Sven to stay? Surely you don't want to start with this manager a season rubbish?
The Fear
Come on City, do us a favour! If pompey win this, i fear the worst. We'd have to win at the emirates...
Can't believe all the garbage that has been printed this week regarding Sven, and all this just because Frank said he will reappraise everything at the end of the season. If he didn't do this he wouldn't be doing his job properly. No doubt his biggest decision will be how many millions he will give Sven to complete the push into the top four. I can well see at least six players going out and probably the same amount or if not more coming in. Tomorrow will probably see Benji scoring for us and Distin getting the equaliser as I forecast a 1-1 draw.. This despite Lawro having us down to win 2-0.
If Lawro has tipped you, we'll win then. HMS Pompey is in town & just remember what happened the last time we visited Manchester. To be honest, we are in cruise control. Defoe wants to score every game the rest just want to win on May 17th. Probable 1-1 draw.
Have to disagree storagematt, none of your players want to get injured and they will with exception of Defoe desparate not to get sent off or suffer injuries. Could be an interesting game. I don't think the villa game will be easy .
Buzz Lightyear
I see our loan players were finding the back of the net again yesterday, Samaras, Evans & Dickov.
Quite a good game there lads. And I wouldn't believe the garbage about Svennis. You're 6 points off of 5th place with 3 games left. How many points were you off of 5th last season?
That should shut up the Press rags and Sven knockers once and for all. HE ISN'T GOING ANYWHERE !!! the only place he is going is onwards and upwards into Europe with us.
The first goal was special. ;p
Fan of Blues
Lots of contenders for the MoM, Vassell, worked his socks off once again, Ireland had best game for ages, praise goes to Elano for taking on the role of RB. Charlie played well at CB, the boy williamson, not out of place. Bally gives everything. Hart gets better each match, two brilliant saves, Johnson coming back to fitness. Gelson plays the Hamann role in that noone notices him really because he is not outstanding, but does an awful lot of running and he too gets better each match, wasnt impressed earlier on in the season but he needs to improve his passing.Dunney heart of a lion, Benjani respect for not celebrating against his old team, made first with his never give up running and stuck his goal away brilliantly. Petrov best game (like Ireland) for ages, worked well with Ball and then Williamson, took goal opportunity. got to give it to Gelson for his hard unnoticed work. It wil be interesting what the defense is next week, if dunney does not make it.
Buzz Lightyear
Fully agree Buzz...I believe Logan has been called back from his loan spell.
at least 9th place if we win the next 3 could get to 7th Villa outstanding at the moment cant see us catching them, Everton for 5th, which means we will miss out on automatic place and intertoto if draw goes against us at the Eufa final at coms. Did any read the comment by Fitzroy that Wardle had to pay staff wages recently? Got a new computer, with a pink keyboard, never sending my wife again for bloke jobs.
Buzz Lightyear
We looked solid and compact. The pass and move was back. Clearly the team are right behind Svennis. Very pleasing to see yet another academy lad given his chance. May the stability continue. Let's give it everything on and off the park for a maximum points finish!
Johnny Baguette
Alphie it will probably be Charlie and ball at CB and garrido if fit at left back. Fulham will be a handful, they are fighting for their lives in the premier, but these are the teams we should be brushing aside.
Buzz Lightyear
by the looks of things we wont have and defenders left by the end of the season, hopefully dunnes scan goes well and we will have him back for next week. Otherwise grreat result against pompey we needed than Benjani had a great game against his old club
dunne deal
I would not be surprised to see Micah back at the weekend which would give us a back line of Richards, Dunne, Corluka, Ball with the great young prospect Sam Williamson on the bench again.
Well don on your win. Our Keystone cops at the back returned but to fair that rarely happens. With one eye on the cup final & the other somewhere else, we looked a bit off the boil. You took advantage & exploited it. Benji did to us what he would do for others. We still love him but I would still have Defoe.
Matt lets be honest we gave em three points.
eastneydave, gifted is the word you are looking for. I think I would try the youths at the back, the only thing here is that we are playing a team in danger and in these cases I would like Sven to put out the strongest team possible, unlike red nose from the swamp who practically gave WHU their ticket to stay up and he had the cheek to critise Southgate for resting Woodgate when they played us. Changes in the ofside law for next season anyone?
Buzz Lightyear
what ya mean buzz
dunne deal
Last season when middlesborough played us Southgate rested woodgate, Red nosed said that was unfair to the other teams fighting relegation. When WHU played the rags in the last game of the season WHU neede to win that match and Red Nose played a weakened side which meant that Sheffield went down in what should have been a home banker for the rags to beat WHU if they had played a full strength side and whu wouold have gone down.
Buzz Lightyear
Is it true we are on the verge of signing Brazilian striker Jo for £20 million ??? What with this and the Ronaldinho rumours. At this rate we will end up with half of the Brazil team WHAT A PROSPECT !!!
Any news about Frank and his Court apearance?
Buzz Lightyear
i was reading the same thing aswell alphieblues that we are in talks with ronaldhino cos the deal woth ac fell trough
dunne deal
when was the last time city put 3 goals past a team?
quietman.... Just ask Fulham, Newcastle, Middlesboro and Bolton....

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