Dean Smith has expressed exactly what football is thinking. There are Portsmouth, supposedly on their uppers, having gone through numerous financial difficulties, most of which seem to have been caused by them having owners who could only pass the Football Authorities’ “fit and proper person” test, as they wouldn’t pass one in any other walk of life. Hanging on the brink, relegated to the third tier and what happens? They assemble, somehow, a squad most of this division couldn’t dream about! Meanwhile, we might assume, all the myriad of ordinary creditors are likely to end up with 2p in the pound. Deano said himself, “There will be eyebrows raised by a lot of clubs at the calibre of players they are signing and what they’re earning. We can only concentrate on Walsall and what we do, but I don’t think they’ve been shopping at Lidl’s”. As if to reinforce the point, they lose Gabor Gyepes this week injured and immediately bring in Ludomir Mischalik on loan!
Smith has a lot of choices to make, with Grigg back from International duty and the possibility of Adam Chambers also being fit, although James is still out.
I would expect the normal, for this season, 4 2 3 1, with Baxendale continuing in place of Chambers if he doesn’t make it. If he is back, Baxendale did enough to keep his place last week, so Paterson may be the one most under theat.
For Pompey, Gyepes is the only player missing, as Izale McLeod is expected to be fit
Pompey have had a poor start, picking up last week, courtesy of a referee sending off no fewer than two of Crawley’s players. I think we have enough in the locker to come away from Fratton with a point.