Portsmouth match preview

Barclays Premier League
West Ham United v Portsmouth
Boleyn Ground
Saturday 15 November
Referee: Martin Atkinson
WHUTV - Full audio commentary


* West Ham United welcome Tony Adams' Portsmouth for their seventh home game of the 2008/09 Barclays Premier League season. Gianfranco Zola's side will be hoping for their first win over the visitors since 1993.

* The home side go into the game with a run of five defeats and a draw in their last six games. After leading against Middlesbrough and Everton in their previous two fixtures, late goals conceded have cost the team - eventually drawing 1-1 and losing 3-1 respectively.

* West Ham United are 14th in the Premier League on 13 points with four wins and a draw from their opening 12 games and a goal difference of minus six. Portsmouth are ninth with five wins, two draws and five defeats and a goal difference of minus five.

* With the current compact nature of the Premier League table, a win could see the home side move up to tenth. The visitors could go fifth with an emphatic win.

* West Ham United manager Zola said: "It was a very frustrating afternoon against Everton. When you come off the pitch, you have to speak to the players after they have played a match as they had done. Nobody thought that the game was going to be that way until they scored. That is football sometimes, you have to accept it. This week we have worked on those mistakes and we are trying to fix them. The players know what the mistakes are. The staff know the same. We tried to fix them. On Saturday, we will see whether it works or not."

* Portsmouth have enjoyed good fortune against today's hosts - winning four of the last six. The last meeting ended in a 1-0 win for Pompey at the Boleyn Ground in a Premier League encounter on 8 April 2008, when a Nico Kranjcar strike on 61 minutes was enough to give the visitors three points. The reverse fixture on the south coast was a 0-0 draw in a match that is probably best remembered for Robert Green's last-minute penalty save to earn his side a point.

* West Ham United have not beaten Portsmouth since their return to the Premier League. The last time they enjoyed victory over Saturday's opponents was a 2-0 win in the old first division in 1993.

* The hosts will be hoping to keep their first clean sheet after a run of 24 matches since their last in the 1-0 win at Fulham in February.

* West Ham United are next in top flight action on Sunday 23 November when they make the long trip north to face Sunderland. Portsmouth host Hull City the previous day.

Last time out:
Saturday 8 November - West Ham United 1-3 Everton
West Ham United: Green, Neill, Collins, Upson (Collison 18), Ilunga, Faubert, Parker (Di Michele 87), Bowyer, Sears, Bellamy, Boa Morte (Etherington 57)
Subs not used: Lastuvka, Lopez, Mullins, Reid
Goal: Collison 63

Saturday 8 November - Sunderland 1-2 Portsmouth
Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Campbell, Distin, Belhadj, Pamarot, Davis, Diarra, Kranjcar (Utaka 75), Defoe (Hughes 90), Crouch (Kanu 69)
Subs not used: Ashdown, Kaboul, Diop, Armand Traore
Goals: Belhadj 51, Defoe 90 pen

Team news

* Zola welcomes back Valon Behrami from his calf injury, James Tomkins from a knee problem and Carlton Cole from suspension.  Matthew Upson is also fit to retain his place in the team after being taken off with a dead leg against Everton, meaning the manager has plenty of options at his disposal.

* Competition for places in midfield is particularly strong with last weekend's goal-scorer Jack Collison vying for a place alongside Lee Bowyer, Hayden Mullins, Scott Parker, Julien Faubert, Luis Boa Morte and Behrami. Zola must also decide whether to stick with the 4-4-2 formation played in recent games or revert to the 4-3-3 used before Cole's suspension.

* There has also been the welcome sight of Kieron Dyer returning to full training at Chadwell Heath with the rest of the squad this week. The midfielder has stepped up his training following the double leg break sustained in August 2007.

* Diego Tristan will miss the game with a foot injury sustained playing for the reserves last week. Mark Noble and Jonathan Spector are only a few weeks away from recovering from their respective calf and hip injuries meaning the only long-term absentees are Dean Ashton and Danny Gabbidon.

* Robert Green, the only West Ham United player to have appeared in every minute of every league game thus far, will be making his 300th career league appearance if selected.

* Parker will make his 200th league start if selected.

* Upson and Bowyer will be making their 50th appearances for the club if they play.


* The last meeting of the clubs was the 1-0 Portsmouth win at the Boleyn Ground in April.

* The lineups were:

West Ham United:
Green, Neill, Spector, Ferdinand, McCartney, Solano (Pantsil, 82), Mullins (Cole 73), Parker, Boa Morte, Ashton, Zamora (Sears 58)
Subs not used: Walker, Tomkins,
Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Distin, Campbell, Hreidarsson, Diop, Mendes (Hughes 82), Muntari, Mvuemba, Nugent (Kanu, 73), Kranjcar
Subs not used: Begovic, Lauren, Davis

* Portsmouth could have three former West Ham United players in their team. David James, Glen Johnson and Jermain Defoe all played for the London side in the 2003 season, when the club were relegated to the Championship.

Head to head (last six meetings, league unless stated)
8 April 2008 - West Ham United 0-1 Portsmouth
27 October 2007 - Portsmouth 0-0 West Ham United
26 December 2006 - West Ham United 1-2 Portsmouth
14 October 2006 - Portsmouth 2-0 West Ham United
18 March 2006 - West Ham United 2-4 Portsmouth
26 December 2005 - Portsmouth 1-1 West Ham United

Overall record v Portsmouth (all competitions): W 11, D 4, L 14

Saturday, 15 November 2008 (All 3pm unless stated)
Arsenal v Aston Villa
Blackburn Rovers v Sunderland
Bolton Wanderers v Liverpool, (12.45pm)
Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester United v Stoke City
Newcastle United v Wigan Athletic
West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea (5.30pm)

Sunday, 16 November 2008
Everton v Middlesbrough (1.30pm)
Hull City v Manchester City (4pm)

General information

Tickets for this game are still available and can be bought here. For ticket information click here. For details on getting to the Boleyn Ground click here

Weather: The forecast is for a sunny day with slight cloud and a top temperature of around 14C.