Villas-Boas set for grand Fratton unveiling

New Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas
New Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett, right. Picture: Shaun Boggust

Pompey boss sees cause for attacking optimism

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Andre Villas-Boas’ Chelsea will make their first public bow tomorrow as Fratton Park comes under the media glare.

The recent Stamford Bridge appointment will officially mark his arrival in the English game with a Pompey friendly.

Earlier this week, Chelsea beat Wycombe 3-0 in a behind-closed-doors match at their Cobham training ground.

It was a full-strength turn out, including Fernando Torres, John Terry, Nicolas Anelka, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole.

A total of 23 players experienced first-team action, with youngsters such as Jacob Mellis, Billy Clifford, Josh McEachran, Aliu Djalo and Tomas Kalas also featuring.

Tomorrow, that same squad will step out at Fratton Park – only all eyes will be on Villas-Boas.

The 33-year-old Portuguese took the helm at Stamford Bridge this summer after Carlo Ancelotti was sacked on the final day of the 2010-11 campaign.

Villas-Boas is regarded as the new Jose Mourinho after steering Porto to a domestic double and the Europa League last season.

Pompey fans won’t need reminding about their last encounter with Chelsea.

That was on May 15, 2010, in the FA Cup final.

Prince Boateng missed a penalty and Pompey were duly punished by Didier Drogba, netting with a free-kick following Aaron Mokoena’s foul.

Only Hayden Mullins, Ricardo Rocha and Mokoena are left from the Pompey side who started that Wembley clash.

Meanwhile, in terms of the coaching staff, Guy Whittingham is the sole survivor.

One player definitely missing from tomorrow will be Michael Essien, whose knee injury is expected to sideline him for six months. In the meantime, Chelsea continue to pursue Luka Modric following several unsuccessful bids.

In addition, Scott Parker has been touted to make what may seem an unlikely loan move back to Stamford Bridge.

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has publicly admitted such a deal would appeal if the Hammers received a substantial fee in return.

Parker earns £2.5m a year and the east London club would want another £2m.

Again, no deal is likely to be in place before tomorrow’s Fratton Park visit.