Blades out to blunt Pompey - again

Deon Burton
Deon Burton
Jack Whatmough, centre, was gaffer for a day Josh Sweetmans Pompey man of the match from Saturdays draw against Walsall

Pompey 1 Walsall 1: Gaffer for a day

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The form book is excellent, confidence is high, expectation levels are roaring – but the omens are bad, very bad.

Pompey are looking to make it six successive wins tomorrow.

In the process, they could equal a post-war club record for consecutive clean sheets.

Except there is one obstacle in the way – Sheffield United.

The Blades have a habit of blunting things for Pompey.

A quick dip into the history books establishes them as genuine party-poopers in recent times.

Take the early part of 1997, for instance.

From January 18 to March 1, Terry Fenwick’s side won seven matches in a row.

They included league triumphs over Crystal Palace, Oxford, Oldham, Birmingham and West Brom.

That also consisted of an FA Cup win over Reading and a memorable 3-2 victory at Leeds.

Next up was a Fratton Park clash with the Blades.

And they ended that run of wins by securing a 1-1 draw.

Paul Hall struck early for Pompey, only for Jan Åge Fjørtoft to net a second-half leveller.

There was also a notable run at the start of the 2002-03 campaign under Harry Redknapp.

In the year which would ultimately lead to Premier League promotion, Pompey won nine of their first 10 matches in all competitions.

Their only failure in that magnificent run? Sheffield United.

The Blues drew their second match of the season 1-1 at Bramall Lane.

Deon Burton secured the point in the 25th minute when he levelled Peter Ndlovu’s opener.

Now an in-form Pompey meet United again. But don’t bank on a rosy outcome.