Comic keeper set to lose Saints starting spot

Bartosz Bialkowski, left, is expected to make way for Kelvin Davis for Saints' trip to Fratton
Bartosz Bialkowski, left, is expected to make way for Kelvin Davis for Saints' trip to Fratton
Conor Chaplin could start againsyt Plymouth. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey v Plymouth: pre-match talking points

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Clanger keeper Bartosz Bialkowski is set to be dropped by Southampton for the south coast derby.

Regular No1 Kelvin Davis is expected to be declared fit following a calf injury, meaning another period on the sidelines for the Polish shot-stopper.

Bialkowski sprung to the nation’s attention at the weekend with a high-profile mistake against Blackpool at St Mary’s.

The 24-year-old allowed Callum McManaman’s shot to go under his body to give the Seasiders a second-half lead.

But Rickie Lambert popped up with a last-gasp leveller to seal a 2-2 draw.

The keeper was only in the side after Davis picked up an injury in training days earlier.

That ended a run of 88 successive league games for the veteran.

Now Davis is expected to be back for Sunday’s trip to Fratton Park, ensuring Bialkowski returns to the substitutes’ bench.

Manager Nigel Adkins revealed former Ipswich man Davis had even come close to making the Blackpool fixture.

He said: ‘Kelvin was close to being fit.

‘We have a period of time – six days – before that great game that we’re all looking forward to.

‘We’ll have to wait and see.

‘Bart is outstanding in training. I’ve got a lot of confidence in him.

‘He’ll be a stronger character and a stronger person for what happened.’

Should Davis play on Sunday, it will be his 250th appearance for Southampton.

The 35-year-old signed from Sunderland in a £1m deal in the summer of 2006.

Last year he was named in the League One PFA team of the season.

Bialkowski has spent even longer at St Mary’s but has made just 39 appearances to date.

Before Saturday’s outing, his last league appearance came in December 2009.

That was in a 2-1 defeat at Colchester.

However, he did feature in Southampton’s Carling Cup campaign this season.