Trick or Treat for Bruce?
The Latics travel 248 miles for this fixture hoping to end a run which has seen the last four matches all ending in defeat leaving Steve Bruces men in the bottom 3 with only Bolton and Spurs below.
Steve Bruce will be wondering which side of his team will turn up today, will it be the one that earned all the plaudits for fast flowing football and battered Hull City at the KC 5-0 or will it be the one that throws goals away and throws in the towel just like the Fulham game on Wednesday.
With the Blues suffering that very poor display on Wednesday Brucie may be tempted to jig things around as far as team selection and tactics are concerned, it would be no surprise to see changes in the back four, boss Bruce as been ultra critical of the Latics defending of late and also we may see a change of tactic to 4-5-1, this worked so well at Anfield against Liverpool, until Valencia got sent off
Bruce desperately needs to do something with his side in apparent free-fall but we all know how good thy can be and in fairness there have only been two bad performances this season, unfortunately they have come in the last two matches and confidence appears to be draining from the players.
Wilson Palacios has lost a little sparkle in the centre of Latics midfield, but this is hardly surprising when you consider that kidnappers back home in Honduras have held his 15 year old brother captive for over a year now and they demand monthly payments just to ensure they keep him alive, it is a testament to the man that he plays at all.
What the bosses say:
Latics boss Steve Bruce:
'We'll have to go back to basics after our loss at Fulham this week.
'We have to make sure that we don't put out defensive displays like what we did on Wednesday.
'I'll be glad to see the back of October. It's been a poor month for us, we've lost all four games, so roll on November.'
Pompey boss Tony Adams:
'I have great respect for Steve Bruce. He's learned his trade well. He was a fantastic player and I think he's a fantastic manager, too.
'And maybe he's out for a bit of revenge for not winning any caps as a player when I was around.'
Portsmouth Team News:
Sol Campbell and Glen Johnson are rated as 50/50 to make the game
James, Johnson, Kaboul, Distin, Belhadj, Utaka, Davis, Diarra, Diop, A Traore, Crouch, Defoe, Hughes, Pamarot, Kranjcar, Hreidarsson, Mvuemba, Kanu, Campbell, Ashdown.
Player to watch: Peter Crouch
He'll be a handful for the defence and there is a lot more to Crouch than people give him credit for
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Erik Edman is still not fit enough to make the squad
Kirkland, Melchiot, Scharner, Bramble, Figueroa, De Ridder, Cattermole, Palacios, Kapo, Heskey, Zaki, Boyce, Brown, Camara, Valencia, Kilbane, Koumas, Kupisz, Taylor, Pollitt, Kingson.
Player to watch: Amr Zaki
Got no service in his last two games and had to go looking for the ball himself, which left him very frustrated, Pompey may well be about to see what all the hype is about
Portsmouth 2-0 Wigan Athletic
29th March 2008
Referee Alan Wiley
Pompey have had the better of the Latics over the years with 12 Pompey 7 wins, Latics 3, Draws 2
Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)
Games - 5
Yellows - 16
Reds - 1
Heart says Latics will snatch a 2-1 win
Head says 1-1
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