Lambert to miss the big one? No chance

Saints' Rickie Lambert has scored in his two previous south coast derbies
Saints' Rickie Lambert has scored in his two previous south coast derbies
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett

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Michael Appleton has downplayed hopes of keeping his team selection a secret from opposite number Nigel Adkins.

And the Blues boss is certain that Southampton danger man Rickie Lambert will play tomorrow.

The 28-goal hitman missed Saints’ 3-0 defeat at Blackpool last week with a pelvic injury, but Adkins insists he is back to full fitness.

Appleton is also fully expecting Lambert to lead the home side’s attack and bid to add to his two goals in his two previous south coast derby games.

Appleton smiled: ‘I’ll be amazed if Rickie Lambert doesn’t play.

‘And I don’t have to play any psychological warfare. We play as we are and we’ve got what we’ve got.

‘I don’t think Nigel will have too many worries picking our team, with George (Thorne) being out and Tal (Ben Haim) struggling with a calf injury.

‘The players who come in will have to do the business.

‘But we will have enough players to play and enough quality to cause Southampton a few problems.’

While the home side are favourites, Appleton has not written off Pompey’s hopes of springing a surprise and beating their promotion-chasing hosts.

He said: ‘Blackpool did it last week so that’s one way of doing it. It’s going to be difficult – especially on their home patch. But we are not going there to hang in there. We’re looking to win.’