Portsmouth v Shrewsbury: Pre-match talking pointsÂ

Will Rooney looks at the pre-match talking points ahead of Pompey's visit of Shrewsbury tomorrow...

Friday, 7th September 2018, 6:23 pm
Updated Friday, 7th September 2018, 6:32 pm
Andre Green made his debut against Gillingham on Tuesday. Picture: Robin Jones

Pompey will have to do without this season's talisman against Shrewsbury.

Since arriving at Fratton Park in June, Ronan Curtis has swiftly stamped his authority on his new surroundings.

He's become one of the live-wires of the dressing room, a fans' favourite and, most crucially, the Blues' chief attacking threat.

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Andre Green made his debut against Gillingham on Tuesday. Picture: Robin Jones

From six League One appearances, he's registered five goals and three assists, and scotched any doubts he may take time to acclimatise from the League of Ireland. 

However, for the first time this season, Pompey will have to cope without Curtis.

A Republic of Ireland under-21 call-up deprives Kenny Jackett of the south London-born talent for the Shrews' visit to Fratton Park.

Nevertheless, the Blues have a more-than-adequate replacement to occupy the left-flank in his absence.

Sections of Aston Villa fans were baulking when they discovered Andre Green was being loaned out to Pompey.

The 20-year-old is highly regarded at his parent club and made an encouraging debut in the 4-0 Checkatrade Trophy win over Gillingham on Tuesday night.

Given he spent most of last term out injured, the England under-20 international should only continue on an upward spiral.

And Green's pedigree suggests he should make an impact in the third tier.


Promotion is no doubt the principal aim for Pompey this term.

They've started the season in flying form, winning five and drawing one of their opening six matches.

Kenny Jackett's side's home record is unblemished in League One after delivering wins against Luton, Oxford and Plymouth so far.

And a success against Shrewsbury would not just continue their march towards the Championship but would also be a good omen.

The last time the Blues delivered wins from their first four home games was the 2002-03 campaign.

Harry Redknapp's side defeated Nottingham Forest, Watford, Brighton and Millwall on the way to the Division One crown.

Granted, it's far too early to be thinking about silverware but it certainly would be a superb feat to achieve.


Kenny Jackett has a striking decision to make ahead of tomorrow.

The Pompey boss must weigh up whether to continue with Oli Hawkins or hand Brett Pitman just a second League One start of the season.

If the former was fully fit, he'd likely spearhead the Blues' attack.

Although he's yet to break his goal duck this term, Hawkins' hold-up and link-up play has been integral to his side's success.

He limped out of last Saturday's victory over Plymouth but did train on Thursday morning and is in the reckoning to feature. 

If Jackett opts not to risk Hawkins, at the ready is forward not only desperate to prove his worth but also someone who strikes fear into League One defences.

Pitman is deadly in the final third, one of the best goalscorers in the division after netting 25 goals last term. 

A goal against Gillingham mid-week would have done his confidence the world of good but that certainly would not have sated his appetite.