Good Friday is long for Pompey, but will it be long on success?
By Site reporter
Thursday 28 Mar 2013 23:25:00
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Bob Hoskins won't be anywhere to be seen but it promises to be a long Good Friday for Pompey fans as they fulfill a fixture that the computer didn't think through when trying to come up wit local games for the holiday weekend.


Blues fans could hardly have a longer trip to kick off the Easter weekend - although Tranmere fans will probably feel the same about their trip to Fratton Park on Monday. And the distance to Deepdale won't stop Pompey fans travelling in good numbers.

The fact the visit to Brentford next month sold out within a day shows Pompey fans have lost none of their appetite for action, despite Pompey's struggles near the bottom of League One. In fact, a run which has seen Pompey lose only two of their last nine games has only served to increase interest in their survival bid.

Pompey may well be unchanged at Preston, manager Guy Whittingham having been happy with the side's efforts in the 2-0 win over Coventry last week.

He has no new injury worries and is likely to go again with Shaun Cooper at left-back - Cooper having replaced youngster Dan Butler last weekend.

Ricardo Rocha and Gabor Gyepes are likely to keep Sam Sodje will be on the bench again while up front, Patrick Agyemang partners David Connolly in attack against a club where he scored 21 goals in three years.

Preston manager Simon Grayson will run the rule over joint top scorer Stuart Beavon and John Welsh. Beavon hopes to resume his role in North End's attack after going off in last weekend's 0-0 draw with Leyton Orient with concussion. Welsh missed that game with an Achilles injury sustained in the 1-0 defeat at Brentford a week earlier.

Whittingham said Preston's apparently-safe league position did not mean they wouldn't provide a tough test.

'You can’t underestimate a team just because they don’t look like getting relegated or promoted. There’s a new man in charge and there will be personal pride at stake. Every player will be up for the game,' he told the official website.

'Graham Westley came in and tried to change a lot of things, but the players he brought in seem to have adapted to the way the new manager wants them to play. Preston are very difficult to play against at home – they’re compact, solid and have tightened right up since the new manager came in.

'They’ll be a tough side to break down and we have to make sure that we’re exactly the same. We’ll go there knowing that we’ll have to play at our very best if we’re to come away with a victory.'

It's a decade since Pompey last found league joy at Deepdale - Yakubu scoring in a 1-1 draw as Harry Redknapp's side closed in on promotion to the Premier League. They won 1-0 there in the 2008 FA Cup run but lost by the same score in the Championship in August 2010.

Our prediction: Preston 0 Pompey 0

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