Pompey v Carlisle: Big match preview

Pompey entertain Carlisle in their latest match in League Two.

Saturday, 2nd April 2016, 12:00 pm
Pompey keeper Ryan Fulton Picture: Joe Pepler

Here’s all you need to know about today’s game at Fratton Park.

Pompey team news

Conor Wilkinson has been ruled out of the Carlisle clash for Pompey after picking up a groin injury on international duty for Republic of Ireland under-21s.

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Pompey boss Paul Cook is unsure of the exact extent of the issue at present, however, with the player being treated at parent club Bolton.

Kieron Freeman is in contention for the Blues after being missing since Accrington with a knee injury.

Adam Webster (knock) and Brian Murphy (calf) are both training.

Cook has to decide who will start in goal between Paul Jones and loanee Ryan Fulton.

Carlisle team news

Carlisle have doubts over right-back Alex McQueen and forward Steven Rigg as they make the long trip south to Pompey.

Both men have groin injuries and missed out in the Cumbrians’ 3-2 win over promotion-chasing Bristol Rovers on Monday.

So it’s likely to be a similar set-up from Keith Curle’s side from the team who beat the Pirates.

That means leading scorer Jabo Ibehre (15 goals) will be on the bench, with 13-goal marksman Charlie Wyke starting in front of Newcastle loanee Alex Gilliead in a 4-4-1-1 formation.

Probable teams

Pompey: Ryan Fulton, Ben Davies, Matt Clarke, Christian Burgess, Enda Stevens, Danny Hollands, Michael Doyle, Gareth Evans, Gary Roberts, Kyle Bennett, Michael Smith. Subs: Paul Jones, Kieron Freeman, Adam Webster, Ben Tollitt, Adam McGurk, Conor Chaplin, Marc McNulty

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Carlisle: Mark Gillespie, Tom Miller, Mark Ellis, Michael Raynes, Macaulay Gillesphey, John Stacey, Brandon Comley, Jason Kennedy, Danny Grainger, Alex Gilliead, Charlie Wyke. Subs: Dan Hanford, David Atkinson, Luke Joyce, Martin Smith, Luis Pedro, Jabo Ibehre, Derek Asamoah

Formation: 4-4-1-1

Match odds

Pompey win: 4/7

1-0 5/1, 2-0 5/1, 2-1 6/1, 3-0 8/1, 3-1 8/1, 3-2 18/1

Carlisle win: 10/3

1-0 17/2, 2-0 12/1, 2-1 17/2, 3-0 33/1, 3-1 30/1, 3-2 28/1

Draw: 5/2

Pompey stats

Top scorers: Marc McNulty (11), Conor Chaplin (9), Gary Roberts (8), Gareth Evans (8)

Most assists: Enda Stevens (10), Kyle Bennett (9), Marc McNulty (7)

Appearances: Kyle Bennett (45), Enda Stevens (44), Ben Davies (43)

Carlisle stats

Top scorers: Jabo Ibehre (15), Charlie Wyke (13), Derek Asamoah (8)

Most assists: Jason Kennedy (7), Danny Grainger (6), Michael Raynes (5)

Appearances: Michael Raynes (44), Derek Asamoah (43), M Gillespie/J Kennedy (42)

Other fixtures

Accrington v Cambridge, Bristol Rovers v Crawley, Exeter v Plymouth, Hartlepool v Mansfield, Luton v Stevenage, Morecambe v Barnet, Northampton v Notts County, Wycombe v Wimbledon, Yeovil v Newport, York v Leyton Orient

Gaffer for a day: Pam Wilkins

What can you say about this Pompey? If the team who beat Accrington and Notts County turn up, we’ll be fine.

If it’s the side who performed against Newport County, we’re going to be in trouble.

It’s not going to be an easy game, as Carlisle showed when they beat Bristol Rovers on Monday.

So it just depends on which Pompey turns up and how we start the game.

It’s up to us to go out, win the game and go on a run which could get us automatically promoted.

We now need to win virtually all of our games to ensure there’s a chance of that happening.

It was good to see the confidence back among the players against Notts County.

All of the flicks and tricks were coming off and the confidence was there from the crowd. That makes a big difference.

I’ve been impressed with Ben Davies this season.

He has been up and down that right flank, is always in the right place, and puts in superb crosses.

There’s a lot of players you could highlight, though.

I like Kyle Bennett, who has been playing well. He always keeps looking for the ball and won’t stop trying to make things happen.

Then there’s Enda Stevens and Adam Webster, who’s shown what a good player he is now he’s in his proper position in central defence.

There are some tough calls for Cookie to make head of the game.

Paul Jones didn’t have much to do against Notts County, but came back and kept a clean sheet. I’d probably go with Ryan Fulton.

Some people aren’t sure about Michael Smith, but he did well last Friday.

I’d start with him and have either Marc McNulty or Conor Chaplin coming off the bench.