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Saturday, 4th August 2018 Kick-off 15:00
Pompey don't want another league position swap shop
Friday, 17th Nov 2017 21:43 by pompey-fans.com staff
Pompey showed last week they're not averse to a nice mid-table battle for points in League One, and that's good news because another one trots into view this weekend.
Last week it was 11th v 13th at Bloomfield Road and 13th-placed Pompey ended up 11th. This time it's 11th-placed Pompey v 12th-placed Southend at Fratton Park and Pompey will hope they don't swap places with their opponents as they did last week.
Not for the first time this term the Blues find themselves only three points off a play-off spot, but that's as close as they've got in a period where every win seems to be cancelled out by a subsequent defeat.
Kenny Jackett's main selection issue - don't call it a dilemma within his earshot - is whether to bring Nathan Thompson and Stuart O'keefe back into defence and midfield after they missed the Blackpool win with suspensions. Gareth Evans and Danny Rose will hope he chooses not to.
Most of the rest of the side picks itself after the Bloomfield Rd victory although Jackett still has a couple too many forward players in decent form to fit into the starting line-up.
O'Keefe is keen to get his place back with one of his former sides in town. He told the Pompey website: 'I loved my time there. I arrived having just been released by Ipswich and suddenly had a new lease of life. They were really good to me and I still live in the area. I have a lot of friends there, so it will be enjoyable for them to come here on Saturday.
'When I first went there Southend were in the Championship and had that famous cup win against Manchester United. They’ve had a couple of bad years since then, but are steady now and have found their feet with an experienced manager and group of players.'
Southend's recent record at Fratton is good - they have won 2-1 on each of their last two visits. But before that they'd never won a competitive game here.
Their manager Phil Brown watched Pompey at Blackpool and was impressed by their performance and that of their fans, but doubtless came away with ideas about how to combat them.
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