Portsmouth v Middlesbrough preview

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 2:19

Portsmouth v Middlesbrough preview

Portsmouth boss Steve Cotterill has no new injury or suspension problems ahead of the clash.
Cotterill will have the same squad at his disposal as he did for the 2-1 midweek defeat at Bristol City, a result which ended a run of six consecutive wins and a club record of 636 minutes without conceding a goal.
The Pompey boss could revert from the 4-5-1 formation used in midweek to 4-4-2, with David Nugent moving forward to support Dave Kitson in attack and Joel Ward taking up a wide right position.
South African midfielder Aaron Mokoena could also be recalled after some impressive substitute performances in recent weeks.
Attacker Danny Webber has stepped up his recovery from a year on the sidelines with anterior cruciate ligament damage but is nowhere near ready to return to action.
Middlesbrough defender Joe Bennett will wear a protective lightweight cast in the match.
The 20-year-old full-back chipped a bone in his wrist during Tuesday night’s vital 2-1 Championship victory over Derby but will have the lightweight cast checked by match officials before the game and will play if the dressing is, as expected, approved.
Bennett will be joined in the squad by experienced central defender Stephen McManus on his return from ankle ligament damage.
The 28-year-old Scotland international has not played since the beginning of November and will not be considered for a start but could make it on to the bench.
There is otherwise little good news for manager Tony Mowbray on the injury front with Julio Arca set to miss out once again with knee and toe problems.
Loan keeper Paul Smith, who made his debut against the Rams, will continue in goal with Jason Steele (torn stomach muscle) and Danny Coyne (back) still out, along with Andrew Davies, Matthew Bates and Justin Hoyte (all hamstring), Jonathan Franks and Luke Williams (both ankle), Willo Flood (thigh) and Kevin Thomson (hairline leg fracture).

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