Portsmouth - Sunderland

Excellent betting week is behind. I feel sorry 'cause major leagues are close to finish. I'm already following results and news from Scandinavia, preparing myself for summer. No reason to stop updating this blog on daily basis.

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Excellent weekend for Pompey. Thankfully to Hull City (draw) and Newcastle (defeat), Portsmouth secured their Premier League status. Before that epilogue, results from past few weeks seriously threatened to damage the health of all at Fratton Park. No win in past four games and three defeats, with no goals scored (372 minutes in total) and just a single win from last seven games (Bolton Wanderers at home, 1-0)! After the previous game vs Blackburn on the road (0-2 defeat), situation became dramatic. Manager Paul Hart was accused (from the press mostly) for sending “10 defenders” on the pitch. Natural defenders Johnson and Belhadj were trying to give a support to Peter Crouch. That tactic didn’t work and now Hart has to change something. Big loss is missing of Niko Kranjcar who was organizing midfield line. Traore, Diop, Gekas and Ashdown will be sidelined, too. Noe Pamarot is available again after a suspension, while Armand Traore has recovered from a groin problem and could make his first appearance since February. But the main thing is Hull and Newcastle made all bad thoughts vanished. Lads can play a game without a pressure and celebrate third consecutive Premier League season.


Manager Sbragia said: ”We know it is going to be tough”. Will be tough, definitely! Black Cats have 36 points, two more from the first under the line-Newcastle and one more from Hull City. These three clubs (plus Middlesbrough, 32 points) will decide about two travelers to Championship. Additional beauty is a schedule for the last round. Sunderland-Chelsea; Hull-Man Utd; Aston Villa-Newcastle; West Ham-Middlesbrough! I really don’t know who can win from those four. Too much calculations and combinations. Sunderland can relegate only if take zero, or one point from those two games and Newcastle win Villa on the road. Current shape doesn’t indicate the big possibility for Sunderland’s win on Fratton Park. They have only a single win in last eleven games (Hull City, 1-0 at home), have not netted in last three! And, on the road in 18 games scored just 12 times. New boss Ricky Sbragia brought some improvement in performance, at the last round (Bolton, on the road 0-0) team looked solid, but the attack is still the biggest problem. Full-back George McCartney could return to the squad after missing six games with a calf injury. Kenwyne Jones (his absence means Cisse will be alone in attack), Kieran Richardson and Teemu Tainio are expected to shake off knocks but Craig Gordon and Nyron Nosworthy are out. It seems the visitors’ biggest trump will be relaxed Portsmouth tonight and their “best friends” Villa at the last round. 


When You watch the fact the home team hasn’t score in last four games, visitors in last three, then the bookies miserable offer against the goals isn’t something unexpected. On the pitch will be Crouch against Cisse and “20 defenders” on both sides! Usually, I’ll just pass by, but offer for Monday leave You decision: this game or Scandinavia. So, I predict a draw as a fair enough for both clubs and will try with a small bet. 888sport and Pinnacle offer 3.25. Draw.


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