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MCFC v Portsmouth

Manchester City
Portsmouth FC

City of Manchester Stadium

20th April 2008


On Sky

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.

Writer:Gavin Cooper
Date:Saturday April 19 2008
Time: 5:44PM


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
19/04/2008 17:59:00
Come on City, do us a favour! If pompey win this, i fear the worst. We'd have to win at the emirates...
19/04/2008 18:10:00
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.
19/04/2008 19:15:00
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.
19/04/2008 19:36:00
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
19/04/2008 21:56:00
I see our loan players were finding the back of the net again yesterday, Samaras, Evans & Dickov.
20/04/2008 11:18:00
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?
20/04/2008 18:25:00
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.
20/04/2008 20:10:00
The first goal was special. ;p
Fan of Blues
20/04/2008 23:24:00
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
21/04/2008 08:21:00
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