Notts County v Portsmouth preview

Team news for Saturday's League One clash between Notts County and Portsmouth at Meadow Lane.

Last Updated: 21/09/12 at 13:00

Hughes: Hoping to start

Hughes: Hoping to start

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Jeff Hughes will hope to regain his place in the Notts County starting line-up when Portsmouth visit Meadow Lane.

Hughes, County's leading scorer last season with 17 goals from midfield, returned from injury as a 77th-minute replacement for Francois Zoko during the 1-1 draw at MK Dons on Tuesday night.

Alan Sheehan did not recover from a hamstring problem in time to feature in Milton Keynes, as Carl Regan kept his place in the team, but the left-back could come back into the reckoning against Pompey on Saturday.

The club's appeal against Andre Boucaud's red card at Oldham last weekend was unsuccessful so the midfielder will serve the second game of his three-match suspension.

County set a new club record of 11 away league games without defeat against MK Dons, and manager Keith Curle said: "I'm very proud, not only as a manager but of the players who have achieved it. Now we must forge ahead and make it as many games unbeaten as possible.

"But we didn't celebrate the record as the biggest thing is going to be where we finish at the end of the season. We have a massive game against another big club on Saturday and there are another big three points at stake."

Portsmouth have no new injury problems and could be unchanged.

Defender Kevin Long is still struggling with a back problem so Gabor Gyepes, who made a swift return from an ankle injury to face Swindon on Tuesday, is set to partner new signing Lubomir Michalik at centre-half again.

Boss Michael Appleton was encouraged by a change in Pompey's formation despite the 2-1 defeat by the Robins.

Captain Brian Howard was pushed into an advanced midfield role flanked by Jordan Obita and Jack Compton, with Izale McLeod up front.

Defenders Ashley Westwood (ankle) and Alex Grant (knee) are still in the treatment room and on-loan midfielder Conor Clifford this week returned to parent club Chelsea.

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