Writer: Nick Simmonett
Date:Saturday December 16 2006
16th December 2006
Arsenal welcome back one of their greatest players of all time when Pompey visit Ashburton Grove today in the form of the one and only Tony Adams. TA6 took the role of assistant manager this summer after a bad spell at Wycombe as manager and a coaching role in Holland.
Arsenal also welcome back Sol campbell and Kanu. Both players have revived their careers since moving to Harry Redknapps Portsmouth.
Arsenal can expect another battle today. Portsmouth will probably set out with 9 or 10 men behind the ball and look to catch Arsenal on the break so Toure and co will have to look lively if we are to avoid a repeat of the many 1-1 draws we've had at home this season.
Le Boss on Arsenal's new-found defensive stability and Arsenal's form: "We have had three difficult away games - Porto, Chelsea and Wigan — where we have been stable defensively and resilient.
"We have shown great spirit and great character. We have responded well to the two disappointing results we had at Bolton and Fulham. We have improved our belief and our strength but now we want consistency.
"I feel at the moment it`s not been long enough to say we will [go on a run].
'You expect a longer consistency - six, seven, eight or nine games - before you can say that. But I believe we are capable to do it.
Harry 'Del Boy' Redknapp on injuries and how his team will play: 'We have just got to get on with it this weekend.
'Arsenal are a fantastic side, playing at a fantastic new stadium and with fantastic fans. But we are not just going to their new place to lie down.
'I know the rest of the players will give it everything as usual.
'They don't want to waste the great start we have made to the season.'
The Gunnners are without Captain thierry Henry (Hamstring), Gallas (thigh) and Rosicky (groin/hamstring) are all still out along with Diaby and Lauren.
Senderos could come in for Djourou to cope with the aerial threat of Kanu.
The talented midfielder has been in fine form of late and will pose a threat to the Pompey backline. His dribbling skills and eye for a pass will ensure that he can change the game at any time.
Midfielder Pedro Mendes is back from suspension but Kanu faces a late fitness test on a knee injury.
Cole (Achilles), LuaLua (thigh) and Benjani (hamstring) all mis the trip to London.
The midfielder has a lethal shot on him and Gilberto will have to make suer he keeps the door well and truly shut!
Steve Bennet has officiated 13 games so far this season dishing out three red cards and 45 yellows, an average of 3.69 per game.
I'll put my prediction on here for once. Although Arsenal have won their last 2 home games against Pompey, this team is a whole new kettle of fish. I am tempted to say 1-0 to the Arsenal because of Portsmouth's injury problems but we have our own fair share so I'm going to have to say...thats right folks...1-1 with goals from Kanu and Adebayor.
Date:Saturday December 16 2006
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|1. Man City||6||6||0||0||+13||18|
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