Writer: Ollie Sheehan
Date:Saturday April 1 2006
Saturday, 1st April, 2006
After picking up four points from their last two games and keeping two clean sheets in the process Fulham will look to win this match.
With former Fulham favourite Sean Davis returning to his old ground with Pompey, Coleman has warned against being too concerned who the opposition is.
Chris Coleman: 'I've been telling the players not to approach this match like they've got one foot in the comfort zone. Being realistic, if we get another win and another draw we should be safe. But is that enough? Do we want to end it and say 'we're safe now, we can relax?'. We've got to finish as strong as we can.
'The win and performance against Chelsea was fantastic. But we've set ourselves up now. We know that we can perform as well as that. Whether it's Portsmouth, Villa, Chelsea or Sunderland - it's not about who you're playing against, it's about how you approach it. We've got to approach the Portsmouth game like we're desperate for the points. Although the other teams are a little bit behind us, we still need points in the bag and we've got to finish as high as we can.
'If Portsmouth take the game to us, it will be an open game. We'll be going out to attack and score goals and if they do the same thing it'll be an entertaining game.
'They'll bring a lot of fans and they'll be excited because they've had a recent good run of form. But they're coming up against a good Fulham side who are playing well. If we get the same atmosphere that we had against Chelsea, which was the best atmosphere I've seen at the Cottage in 10 years, then we'll be in for a great afternoon of football and entertainment.'
The injury list is still full of players Coleman would ideally prefer to be on the pitch. Diop is still out after his injury while playing a Senegalese friendly international and Claus Jensen is out for the rest of the season. Simon Elliot is progressing and could start training this week whilst Carlos Bocanegra has been sidelined with trapped fluid in his foot.
Vital predicted line-up: Crossley, Rosenior, Knight, Volz, Christanval, Pembridge, Brown, Malbranque, Boa Morte, Helguson, John
Pembridge looked like a dictator in the match against Villa, spraying the ball about almost effortlessly and influencing the pace of the game with all the maturity of his 34 years. Has a shot on him too!!
Pompey have a much changed line-up and have started to pick up some points as the season enters its final straight. Their midfield has been looking more solid and productive with Davis and Mendes seemingly striking up a bit of a partnership.
Vital predicted line-up: Kiely, Stefanovic, O'Brien, Pamarot, Taylor, Routledge, O'Neil, Davis, Mendes, Todorov, Mwaruwari
Since his transfer from Spurs he has been in resurgent form, scoring a few cracking goals and being at the centre of everything going forward. The away side's biggest goal threat.
Fulham have now picked up four points from their last two games, the 1-0 at home to Chelsea and the 0-0 draw at Villa Park.
These two results mean that for the first time all season Fulham have kept two consecutive clean sheets and are looking more solid as the season draws to a close.
The Whites' home form has been excellent this season with 10 wins from a possible 15 games and Coleman will look for that to continue today.
Pompey have only picked up 10 points on the road this season from a possible 48 whilst conceding 34 goals in the process although the surprise 4-2 win away to West Ham last Saturday aught to give them some hope.
Vital prediction: Fulham 2-1 Portsmouth
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Date:Saturday April 1 2006
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