Pick your Pompey XI: Ipswich – the verdict

Pompey midfielder Ben Close    Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey midfielder Ben Close Picture: Joe Pepler
Picture: Hampshire police

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Ben Close is the man to fill the void left by Michael Doyle.

That’s the view of The News’ readers, who would like to see the 19-year-old included in Pompey’s starting XI at Ipswich tomorrow.

The News readers' Pompey XI for the FA Cup clash with Ipswich

The News readers' Pompey XI for the FA Cup clash with Ipswich

Skipper Doyle is to be rested for the FA Cup third-round clash at Portman Road.

And boss Paul Cook has been urged to give youth-team graduate Close a rare start in his absence.

Holding-midfielder Close (74.2 per cent) and Danny Hollands (73.5 per cent) are the men given the nod in the centre of the park with Nigel Atangana (43 per cent) missing out.

At the back, familiar faces Ben Davies (86.1 per cent), Adam Webster (98 per cent) and Enda Stevens (83,4 per cent) are all selected.

And with Matt Clarke unavailable to play against his parent side and fellow centre-half Christian Burgess out with an injury, versatile midfielder Adam Barton (93.4 per cent) is backed to continue at the heart of defence.

In goal, Brian Murphy (89.4 per cent) is a clear preference, with young back-up Alex Bass (10.6 per cent) primed for a spot on the bench.

Attacking-midfield trio Kyle Bennett (68.2 per cent), Gareth Evans (62.9 per cent) and Gary Roberts (76.2 per cent) are backed to provide the spark going forwards.

And up front, Marc McNulty (51.7 per cent) is the man chosen to lead the line in the absence of fellow loanee Caolan Lavery, who has not received permission to play in the Cup from parent club Sheffield Wednesday.