Bristol City may see this as something of a glamour tie, with the South West club being pitted against last season’s FA Cup winners. It was a truly memorable season for Pompey and Tony Adams will be desperate to progress in this round of the event and follow the standard that his old boss Harry Redknapp set in the last campaign.
The decision to appoint Tony Adams as the permanent Portsmouth manager surprised a few people, with many believing that Pompey would be better with a more experienced man following Harry Redknapp’s unexpected departure. Adams had an unsuccessful spell at Wycombe although after some good early results, there was a little bit of optimism. However, recent results have been disastrous and Pompey have lost four and drawn just one of their last five Premier League games. The pressure is starting to build on Adams and he now has a potential killer of a Cup tie against a Bristol City side who are no strangers to causing upsets after very nearly reaching the top flight last season.
Bristol City are just about starting to get their season back on track after a run that saw them drop a little too close to the relegation zone than they’d have liked. The Robins had just won one of their last twelve games up until Boxing Day, where they then travelled to Watford and grinded out a 4-2 victory over the Hornets. They didn’t stop their either and proved to everyone that their bad run is now behind them by recording a 1-0 home win over Crystal Palace just two days later. Gary Johnson’s men are now in a safe mid-table position and after being embarrassingly knocked out by League Two side Crewe in the Carling Cup earlier this season, they’ll be looking to make up for that against slightly more illustrious opponents in this competition.
There is much speculation about Jermaine Defoe at the moment and while the official line is he won’t feature due to illness, the fact that he could be on his way out of Fratton Park suggests he could be missing for another reason. With Defoe unavailable, Peter Crouch is almost definitely starting and probably in the role of a lone striker. Elsewhere, Tony Adams has more problems and will be without Glen Johnson, Richard Hughes, Younes Kaboul and Papa Bouba Diop who are all struggling with injuries. As for the visitors, Gary Johnson won’t be able to name new signing Peter Styvar as the Slovakian didn’t sign in time for the competition deadline. The Robins are also sweating on the fitness of Jamie McCombe, who’s missed the last two games through pelvic and stomach problems.
Bristol City could give Pompey a real scare here and with the Premiership side performing so badly at the moment, don’t be surprised if they put in a shaky performance. City are renowned for their team spirit and we think Gary Johnson’s men could force Portsmouth into a replay here – 2-2.