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Match Previews

Preview: Portsmouth (A)

16 November 2012

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Two time FA Cup winners Portsmouth are the opponents this weekend as Rovers make the long journey south to Fratton Park.

After the disappointment of two defeats on the bounce at the Keepmoat Stadium, Dean Saunders men will be looking to get back to winning ways against the South Coast side.

Portsmouth, who sit just two points above the League One drop zone, have been struggling for results of late losing their last five games. Along with the loss of form came the loss of manager Michael Appleton to Blackpool. 

Pompey will be under the stewardship of Guy Wittingham for Saturday’s League One encounter at Fratton Park, and the former Pompey striker has gone on record this week revealing he believes that his team has what it takes to turn things round. “A few weeks ago we went on a great run of form and you wonder where that confidence has gone, but it’s slowly ebbed away,” he told the Portsmouth Website.

“It started with the Sheffield United game at the end of October, when we played ever so well but somehow lost the game. That put everyone on the back foot.

“But everyone’s been bright in training and it’s been really lively, so hopefully we can turn things around.”

Rovers boss Dean Saunders spoke to Rovers Player ahead of the game and admitted that he was looking to pile more misery on Pompey.

“Portsmouth are similar to us,” he said

“Michael Appleton put the team together in the last week before the season; we added four or five in the last week too.

“I have to say I know all their players and they’ve all played in the Championship or the Premier League.

“Financially they’re in a bit of a mess but on the pitch they’re not. They’ve lost five games on the trot and we’ve got to make sure it’s six.”

Team News: 
Captain Rob Jones is in contention for the game after resuming full training this week. 

Kyle Bennett and Jamie McCombe remain the only long term injury concerns for Dean Saunders.

Portsmouth have added winger Nathaniel Mandez-Laing and striker Paul Benson to their squad on month long loan deals.

Head-to-head (League)
Rovers – 2
Draw – 2
Portsmouth – 8

Last Meeting – (October 27 2011)
Portsmouth - 3 (Varney 2, Kitson)
Rovers – 1 (Gillett)

Team - Neil Sullivan; Pascal Chimbonda, Sam Hird, George Friend, Herita Ilunga; Giles Barnes, Simon Gillett, Brian Stock, John Oster; Kyle Bennett, Billy Sharp

A dull and cloudy start to the day with rain spreading east to affect all parts for a time. Slowly becoming brighter through the afternoon as rain clears in most parts.

No scheduled roadworks however please allow plenty of time for you journey to avoid unexpected delays.

Rovers Player:
Live and exclusive coverage of Portsmouth v Doncaster Rovers at Fratton Park in the npower League One on Saturday November 17th 2012 will be available on RoversPlayer from 14:45pm. Contact the commentary team on Twitter @drfc_official throughout the afternoon.


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