Football – England – League One
Saturday 8th December 2012 – Kickoff: 1500hrs
Top of League One Tranmere Rovers take on strugglers Portsmouth at Prenton Park on Saturday afternoon with both teams needing a win for their respective reasons.
Tranmere have been a little lacklustre in recent matches with a defeat at home to MK Dons which was then followed by draws against Walsall and Stevenage. However, with the visit of a very poor Portsmouth outfit who must be running on fumes in terms of confidence, they have a great chance to return to winning ways and keep promotion rivals Doncaster Rovers at bay.
Tranmere’s home record stands at a solid 5-3-2 18/8 and their success so far has been built on a sturdy defence with only MK Dons (5 goals) and Swindon Town (7 goals) conceding fewer goals at home than them in League One. Incidentally, they have the same goals for/against away from home as well! Tranmere can also score goals though and they have leading scorer Jake Cassidy (11 goals, 2 assists), Andy Robinson (8 goals) and midfielder Adam McGurk (4 assists) supplying the ammunition.
Poor old Portsmouth seem to be in free-fall mode right now and are in real serious danger of plummeting down into League Two obscurity following seven matches without a win in League One which amounts to just one point out of the last possible 21.
It’s hard to believe that just a few seasons ago they were rubbing shoulders against the elite in English football, and although a similar situation happened to their south coast neighbours Southampton, there will be no solace for Pompey as their own circumstances don’t appear to be changing dramatically anytime soon.
Portsmouth’s away record stands at a worrying 2-3-5 13/18 and haven’t won on the road for five matches now. What is more of a concern for them (but an opportunity for us) is that they’ve kept just one clean sheet so far and up against a strong defensive unit like Tranmere, this fixture seems to be heading in only one direction.
That said, they do have a couple of dangerous players in leading scorer Izale McLeod (10 goals, 1 assist) and Brian Howard (5 assists) but they seem to lack the support necessary to cause Tranmere real problems, not forgetting their inconsistent defence.
Hosts Tranmere Rovers should therefore win this one and win it well given Portsmouth’s current plight and I’ll back Rovers to win this one say 3-0.
Pick: Tranmere Rovers straight win @ a juicy 2.07 Pinnacle