Match Preview: Portsmouth v Tottenham Hotspur
Fratton Park, Frogmore Road, Portsmouth
Saturday 17th October 2009, Kick Off 15:00
Premier League, Match 9
Portsmouth: 20th in Premier League, 3 points from 24
Tottenham Hotspur: 3rd in Premier League, 16 points from 24
Referee: Phil Dowd
Assistant referees: Mike Bull & Mark Scholes
Fourth official: Andrew Penn
Spurs make the trip south to Portsmouth for the first game after the international break with 16 points in the bag after the first 8 Premier League matches - a new club record. Both sides can look back with some satisfaction on their last games - Portsmouth picking-up their first win and points of the season away to Wolves while Spurs managed a draw at Bolton, which is always a tricky place to get anything.
The ties between Portsmouth and Spurs have grown stronger recently with the transfer of so many players between the clubs and Harry Redknapp's switch. Spurs have former Portsmouth players Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch and Niko Kranjcar while Portsmouth have former Spurs players Younes Kaboul, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Michael Brown and Jamie O'Hara (who won't be involved on Saturday) on loan until January 2010.
Last season under Juande Ramos, Spurs lost 2-0 at Portsmouth with the return match at White Hart Lane resulting in a 1-1 draw in January. In 2007-08, Spurs did the "double" over Portsmouth, winning 1-0 (Berbatov) away in December and 2-0 (Bent, O'Hara) at home in March.
Spurs will be looking to win maximum points from this match and the next home game against Stoke City before playing the first North London Derby of the season at the Emirates at the end of the month, but Portsmouth have been playing some decent football recently which belies their lowly League position.
Portsmouth's David James is fit after sitting out England's match with Belarus with a knee problem. Midfielder Jamie O'Hara is unavailable as part of his loan deal with Spurs, so Aaron Mokoena could return. Diop, Hughes and Hreidarsson are all sidelined with hamstring injuries.
Jonathan Woodgate will not make his return at Portsmouth on Saturday. The central defender was back in full training this week after a lengthy spell on the sidelines suffering from a groin problem. He came through a practice match at Spurs Lodge on Tuesday but boss Harry reported on Friday afternoon that he's not quite ready for a competitive return.
"Woody's trained well this week but he's not quite ready, he's a week away yet," said Harry. "We'll fix up another practice match, he'll get a game in there and that will do him a world of good. "He could then be back in contention." Good news sees Ledley King return after picking up a hamstring injury at Chelsea on September 20. "Ledley's trained and worked hard," said Harry. "He played a half in the practice game this week and did a bit this morning and came through it okay. He should be fit."
However, Wilson Palacios looks unlikely to figure at Fratton Park as he will not return from international duty with Honduras until Saturday morning. Harry explained: "Wilson's due back at six o'clock and will come straight to the team hotel but it's difficult to start him after all that travelling." Luka Modric (fractured fibula) and Giovani dos Santos (ankle) continue their rehabilitation.
HARRY REDKNAPP ON PORTSMOUTH:
Harry Redknapp believes Portsmouth have been written off too early. Harry's former team kicked-off the season with seven straight defeats to languish at the bottom of the Barclays Premier League. The general opinion though was that the team was unlucky in a number of those games and they finally got off the mark with a 1-0 win at Wolves last time out. Despite that run, there is still only four points between Pompey and a number of clubs on seven points from Birmingham in 14th and Hull down to 18th.
"Portsmouth are a decent team and I've said that all along," stated Harry. "I don't think they will go down. "People wrote them off too early and I just feel that they've got a bit about them. They will be okay. I think they will come through this period. "They have some good players and I think they will stay up." Harry will be at the centre of attention as he returns to Fratton Park alongside former Pompey players Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch and Niko Kranjcar.
On the other side, meanwhile, are former Spurs Younes Kaboul, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Michael Brown. Jamie O'Hara is also on loan at Fratton Park but will not be able to play under the terms of that loan deal. "They have former Tottenham players there who will want to do well against us - Boateng and Younes, who I signed for Portsmouth," added Harry. "Kevin has had a run and is showing his ability. I never had a problem with him, it was just difficult to pick him every week at Spurs with the likes of Wilson, Tom, JJ, Zokora last year and Jamie as well."
MICHAEL DAWSON ON PAUL HART:
Michael Dawson will come up against the man who gave him his big break in the game on Saturday. Paul Hart, now manager of Portsmouth, brought the defender through the youth system at Nottingham Forest and gave him his senior debut at the age of 18 in April, 2002. The same goes for Jermaine Jenas at Forest and Jonathan Woodgate, who Hart brought through the Academy at Leeds United. 'Daws' went on to make 91 first team appearances at Forest before his switch to Spurs in January, 2005. "Paul was in charge of the youth scheme at Forest and signed me as a 14-year-old," reflected the popular defender. "When I was 16 he was Under-19s manager and I remember playing under him for just over a year before he got the first team job.
"At the end of my second year as a full-time scholar, he gave me the chance to make my first team debut. The way he coached and his discipline was unbelievable and the amount of players he's developed shows he's a top coach. He certainly taught me a few things about the game. He was tough and he can certainly give out a few rollockings, I can tell you. Your standards had to be of the highest order every day in training, and he certainly let you know if they weren't."
Michael, now 25, is looking forward to meeting his former boss again as we travel to Fratton Park for another important match in the Barclays Premier League."I've not seen Paul for a long while, since he left Forest," added Daws. "I was disappointed to see him go then so it will be good to see him again. In my first full year as a first team player at Forest he took us to the play-off semi-finals but after that the club sold a few players and, unfortunately for him, results didn't go for him. But the way he had us playing during that first season meant a lot of top clubs were talking about him, and now he's managing in the Premier League. I'm sure he's enjoying it, although I'm sure he would like a few more points on the board, and he's certainly doing his best."
TOM HUDDLESTONE ON PORTSMOUTH:
Tom Huddlestone admits it's probably not the best time to face Portsmouth - but is confident we can go and win at Fratton Park on Saturday. Pompey ended a run of seven straight defeats in the Barclays Premier League with a 1-0 win at Wolves last time out.
The club has since been taken over and former Chelsea boss Avram Grant has returned to Fratton Park as Director of Football having previously been Technical Director between 2006-07.
Tom takes that all into account when assessing the fixture. "They've played well in their last few games and maybe have been a bit unlucky to lose them, but they won their last game and they will be full of confidence," he stated. "They've just been taken over as well so I'm sure the whole club will be lifted. "It's never an easy place to go anyway and it's probably not the ideal time to play them but we know regardless of who we play, if we're on form then we can beat anyone."
Tom watched Pompey's early kick-off against Everton on September 26 and was impressed with the former - and current - Spurs players in the Pompey side. Kevin-Prince Boateng moved to Fratton Park on a full transfer in August - joining ex-Spurs Younes Kaboul and Michael Brown - while Jamie O'Hara is there on loan until January."Kevin and Jaime seemed to be at the focal point of everything they did against Everton," said Tom. "Kevin didn't have too many opportunities at Tottenham but you could see in training that he had real quality.
"Jamie was a bit unlucky at the start of the season with how well the team started because day in, day out he's one of the best trainers. "The manager has said he wants him back in January and that has to be a good sign. "The main thing for Jamie is that he wants to play football regularly and he's doing that now in the Premier League."
• In last season's meeting at Fratton Park, the goals were scored by then Portsmouth strikers Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch in a 2-0 win for the South Coast side. Defoe actually scored in both games last season, once as a Portsmouth player and once in a Spurs shirt.
• Both teams have three former players potentially lining up against them - Portsmouth's Younes Kaboul, Michael Brown and Kevin Prince Boateng and Tottenham's Defoe, Crouch and Niko Kranjcar.
• Portsmouth have beaten Spurs just once in their last nine encounters.
• Portsmouth and Tottenham have played each other 50 times in all competitions. Portsmouth have won 13 times, Tottenham 20 and there have been 17 draws.
• Pompey have scored the fewest amount of goals (four) in the Premier League this season. Three out of their four strikes have been headers.
• Portsmouth have the worst shooting accuracy in the Premier League, hitting the target with just 32 percent of their efforts.
• 69 percent of the goals Portsmouth have conceded have come before half-time - the highest proportion in the top division.
• Only Burnley (56) and Hull City (55) have allowed the opposition more shots on target against them than Spurs (52).
• Spurs have kept only one clean sheet in their last 15 Premier League away trips.
• Harry Redknapp will complete a full Premier League season of 38 games in charge of Spurs on Saturday (the first match he was officially in charge of was against Arsenal on 29 October 2008). His record is 18 wins, eight draws and 11 defeats (62 points).
Portsmouth: Kaboul: 2 goals (2 league)
Tottenham Hotspur: Defoe: 6 goals (5 league); Keane: 6 goals (5 league)
MARK LAWRENSON'S PREDICTION (BBC):
I hope Harry Redknapp gets the reception he deserves at Portsmouth - and that is an extremely good one because of what he did for that club. He got them out of the Championship, brought in brilliant players (all of whom were sold for a profit) and won the FA Cup. He got out when he saw the writing on the wall and you can't blame him. I just hope a few mindless idiots don't ruin the day. On the pitch, I reckon Pompey will pick up a point - and it'll be a great help for Paul Hart to have Avram Grant's experience with him from now on.
Verdict: Portsmouth 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Saturday afternoon's match will be the 105th meeting between Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth.
Here are the results of all the previous 104 games with Spurs' score shown first:
18-Sep-1899 S&D Comb Lge 4,000H W 2 - 0 Cameron, Kirwan 25-Dec-1899 Southern Lge 14,000H W 3 - 0 Pratt, Copeland, Kirwan 17-Jan-1900S&D Comb Lge 4,000A D 2 - 2 Smith, Pratt 03-Mar-00Southern Lge 7,000A L 0 - 1 03-Nov-00Friendly - A W 3 - 1 Cameron, Brown, Kirwan 17-Nov-00Western Lge 5,000H W 8 - 1 McNaught (2) Jones AE, Morris, Brown (2), Cameron, Kirwan 25-Dec-00Southern Lge 12,000H W 4 - 1 Smith, Brown, Jones JL, Kirwan 17-Apr-01Western Lge - A L 0 - 1 24-Apr-01Southern Lge 3,000A L 0 - 4 16-Nov-01Western Lge 16,000A L 1 - 3 Brown 25-Dec-01Southern Lge 14,000H L 1 - 2 Cameron 17-Mar-02Western Lge 4,000H D 0 - 0 31-Mar-02Southern Lge 13,400A L 0 - 1 30-Apr-02Friendly - A W 2 - 0 Barlow, Copeland 08-Nov-02Western Lge 11,000H D 0 - 0 29-Nov-02Western Lge 9,000A D 2 - 2 Barlow (2) 25-Dec-02Southern Lge 23,000H D 2 - 2 Dryburgh,Warner 13-Apr-03Southern Lge 12,000A L 0 - 2 31-Oct-03Western Lge - A W 3 - 0 Woodward (2), Copeland 25-Dec-03Southern Lge 20,000H D 1 - 1 Jones J. (pen) 27-Feb-04Western Lge 12,000H D 1 - 1 Walton 04-Apr-04Southern Lge 11,000A L 0 - 1 22-Oct-04Western Lge 15,000A L 0 - 1 27-Dec-04Southern Lge 28,000H D 1 - 1 Woodward 17-Apr-05Western Lge - H L 0 - 1 24-Apr-05Southern Lge 10,000N L 2 - 3 Bull, Chapman 28-Oct-05Western Lge - A D 0 - 0 25-Dec-05Southern Lge 33,000H W 3 - 1 Chapman, Kyle, Carrick 03-Mar-06Western Lge 6,000H D 1 - 1 Kyle 16-Apr-06Southern Lge 12,000A L 0 - 1 03-Nov-06Southern Lge 20,000H D 1 - 1 Reid 07-Nov-06Western Lge 4,000A L 0 - 1 26-Nov-06Western Lge 8,000H W 4 - 2 Brearley, Hewitt (pen), Walton (2) 09-Mar-07Southern Lge 12,000A L 1 - 3 Woodward 26-Oct-07Southern Lge 10,000A W 2 - 1 Seeburg (2) 06-Apr-08Southern Lge 6,000H L 2 - 3 Middlemiss, Phillips og 16-Dec-16London Comb 2,000Hi X 1 - 0 Abandoned (Scorer: Banks) 17-Feb-17London Comb 5,000A W 4 - 2 Bliss (4) 31-Mar-17London Comb 2,000Hi W 10 - 0 Elliott, Bassett, Banks (5), Thwaites (2), Hulme og 10-Apr-17London Comb 2,000Hi W 2 - 1 Walden, Middlemiss 17-Sep-27Division 1 26,115A L 0 - 3 19-Mar-28Division 1 12,829H L 0 - 3 14-Oct-33Division 1 25,679A W 1 - 0 O'Callaghan 24-Feb-34Division 1 26,921H D 0 - 0 27-Oct-34Division 1 33,461H W 4 - 1 Bolan, Howe, Hunt GS (2) 09-Mar-35Division 1 11,687A D 1 - 1 Evans W (pen) 16-Jan-37F.A. Cup 3 32,665A W 5 - 0 Morrison (3), Duncan, Miller 16-Mar-40FL South C 7,000A W 2 - 1 Duncan, Dix 11-May-40FL South C 5,301H W 4 - 1 Morrison (3), Medley 26-Oct-40Reg Lge Sth 1,351H L 1 - 2 Howe 15-Nov-41London WarLge 6,095A W 2 - 1 Ludford, Broadis 21-Feb-42London WarLge 4,813H D 1 - 1 Gibbons 24-Oct-42Football Lge Sth 8,500A L 0 - 1 30-Jan-43Football Lge Sth 7,146H W 5 - 2 Beasley, Gibbons, Ludford (3) 26-Feb-44LgeSth Cup S2 15,224H W 1 - 0 Rowley 18-Mar-44LgeSth Cup S2 15,000A W 2 - 1 Rowley (2) 16-Sep-44Football Lge Sth 14,167H D 1 - 1 Walters 30-Dec-44Football Lge Sth 15,000A D 0 - 0 06-Apr-46Football Lge Sth 22,000A W 1 - 0 Medley 13-Apr-46Football Lge Sth 23,000H W 2 - 0 Foreman (2) 04-Nov-50Division 1 66,402H W 5 - 1 Walters, Duquemin, Baily (3) 24-Mar-51Division 1 49,716A D 1 - 1 Uphill 24-Nov-51Division 1 46,815A L 0 - 2 12-Apr-52Division 1 66,988H W 3 - 1 Duquemin, Baily (2) 08-Nov-52Division 1 40,462A L 1 - 2 Uphill 28-Mar-53Division 1 38,636H D 3 - 3 Duquemin (2), Harmer 25-Dec-53Division 1 36,502H D 1 - 1 Brooks 26-Dec-53Division 1 36,677A D 1 - 1 Walters 18-Sep-54Division 1 37,404H D 1 - 1 McClellan 05-Feb-55Division 1 27,539A W 3 - 0 Gavin (2), Duquemin 29-Oct-55Division 1 26,018A L 1 - 4 Robb 10-Mar-56Division 1 44,314H D 1 - 1 Smith R 03-Nov-56Division 1 31,903A W 3 - 2 Smith R, Brooks, Wilson og 16-Mar-57Division 1 36,110H W 2 - 0 Smith R, Mansell og 28-Aug-57Division 1 33,479A L 1 - 5 Smith R 04-Sep-57Division 1 35,813H L 3 - 5 Harmer (pen), Brooks, Dulin 04-Oct-58Division 1 26,402A D 1 - 1 Stokes 21-Feb-59Division 1 27,237H D 4 - 4 Smith R (2), Clayton, Jones (pen) 02-Feb-63Friendly - A W 3 - 2 Mackay, Medwin, Greaves 18-Feb-67F.A. Cup 4 57,910H W 3 - 1 Greaves, Gilzean (2) 07-Aug-74Friendly - A W 2 - 0 Jones, Neighbour 30-Jul-80Friendly - A W 2 - 1 Hughton, Falco 09-Aug-83Friendly - A W 3 - 1 Roberts, Galvin, Mabbutt 20-Nov-85League Cup 4 28,619H D 0 - 0 27-Nov-85League Cup 4 Replay 28,100A D 0 - 0 10-Dec-85League Cup 4 2nd Replay26,306A L 0 - 1 04-Nov-87Division 1 15,302A D 0 - 0 02-Apr-88Division 1 18,616H L 0 - 1 16-Feb-91F.A. Cup 5 26,049A W 2 - 1 Gascoigne (2) 10-Aug-92Friendly 10,929A L 2 - 4 Samways (2) 09-May-99Friendly/Test 6,775A L 2 - 4 Iversen, Anderton 25-Jly-2001Friendly 15,144A W 5 - 2 Sheringham, Iversen, Clemence, Rebrov (2) 26-Dec-03FA Prem 20,078A L 0 - 2 07-Feb-04FA Prem 36,107H W 4 - 3 Defoe, Keane (2), Poyet 18-Oct-04FA Prem 20,121A L 0 - 1 05-Feb-05FA Prem 36,105H W 3 - 1 Mido (2), Keane 13-Aug-05FA Prem 20,215A W 2 - 0 Griffin og, Defoe 10-Dec-05FA Prem 36,141H W 3 - 1 King, Mido (pen), Defoe 01-Oct-06FA Prem 36,063H W 2 - 1 Murphy, Defoe (pen) 01-Jan-07FA Prem 20,194A D 1 - 1 Malbranque 15-Dec-07FA Prem 20,520A W 1 - 0 Berbatov 22-Mar-08FA Prem 35,998H W 2 - 0 Bent, O'Hara 28-Sep-08FA Prem 20,352A L 0 - 2 18-Jan-09FA Prem 36,011 H D 1 - 1 Defoe
LAST TIME WE MET...
Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Portsmouth
18th January 2009, Premier League, White Hart Lane
Jermain Defoe scored against his old club to earn Tottenham a point that lifts them out of the Premier League relegation zone on goal difference.
Portsmouth keeper David James, who made a series of superb stops, denied Aaron Lennon seconds before David Nugent put Pompey in front with a deflected shot.
But Luka Modric set up Defoe to drill home an equaliser soon after, and Spurs pushed forward in search of a winner.
Darren Bent should have won it for Spurs but headed wide from close range.
Although a draw does little to improve the prospects of either side, it was probably the fairest outcome from a frenetic encounter that lived up to its pre-match billing on and off the pitch.
The police took action after former Tottenham defender Sol Campbell was subjected to abuse from a section of Spurs supporters when these sides met at Fratton Park in September but he was not given much respite on his return to his former club.
There was no repeat of the chant that led to accusations of racism and homophobia but Tottenham fans have clearly still not forgiven Campbell for joining Arsenal in 2001 and the hostile reception he received contributed to a heated early atmosphere at White Hart Lane.
Although Spurs boss Harry Redknapp escaped any retribution from visiting fans over his recent departure from Portsmouth for north London, they heartily booed Defoe with his every touch in the opening minutes.
Defoe, who returned to Tottenham earlier this month after less than a year on the south coast, had an early opportunity to silence his detractors when he latched on to a disastrous cross-field ball by Sean Davis and ran clear but he drilled his shot agonisingly wide.
That was the first of a flurry of chances for both sides in a breathless first half that silenced most of the vitriol from the stands.
James did well to push away shots by Defoe and Lennon from the edge of the area then, when Lennon escaped down the right soon afterwards, he superbly tipped Defoe's header over the bar.
At the other end, a Heurelho Gomes fumble almost let in Peter Crouch and only a fine Vedran Corluka block denied Armand Traore as he looked to turn in Nugent's cross.
The amount of scoring opportunities on offer probably explains why Pompey, like Tottenham, are in trouble at the wrong end of the table and neither side tightened up defensively as the game progressed.
James had to be at his best to push away Ledley King's header from Corluka's cross and he was up on his feet to block substitute Bent's follow-up, even though the striker had already been flagged offside.
And Nugent wasted a golden opportunity to break the deadlock before half-time when, with King limping, he escaped the home defence but fired straight at Gomes.
Nugent did not have to wait long to claim his first top-flight goal, however, although there was an element of fortune in the way he broke the deadlock on 59 minutes.
After James somehow kept out Lennon's deflected shot, Traore ran at the home defence and the ball fell for the former Preston striker, who saw his first-time effort clip Gareth Bale and spin inside the far post.
Tottenham's response was to come forward in greater numbers and they only had to wait 11 minutes before they were level.
Modric found Defoe on the edge of the area and there was a mark of quality about his finish, which flew through Campbell's legs and past James.
By now Pompey were on the back foot and, with Tottenham enjoying all the late pressure, Corluka was unfortunate to see his header cleared off the line by Davis.
The chances kept coming for the home side and it looked impossible for Bent to miss when David Bentley's cross found him unmarked at the back post but, to the exasperation of Redknapp, he directed his header wide.
Gomes, Corluka, Woodgate, King (Dawson 44), Bale (Bentley 68), Lennon, Zokora, O'Hara, Modric, Pavlyuchenko (Bent 28), Defoe.
Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Huddlestone, Campbell, Taarabt.
Goals: Defoe 70.
James, Johnson, Campbell, Distin, Belhadj, Nugent (Utaka 73), Davis, Kaboul (Wilson 88), Kranjcar (Hreidarsson 90), Armand Traore, Crouch.
Subs Not Used: Begovic, Pamarot, Little, Kanu.
Booked: Davis, Kaboul.
Goals: Nugent 59.
Ref: Steve Bennett (Kent).
BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Portsmouth's David James