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Portsmouth 2 v 0 Bolton Wanderers
SkyBet League One
Monday, 11th December 2023 Kick-off 20:00
Pompey welcome Bolton for 1st v 2nd showdown - with one question dominating pre-match talk
Saturday, 9th Dec 2023 17:29 by staff

Pompey welcome Bolton to Fratton Park on Monday looking to protect top spot - and John Mousinho is giving nothing away as to how he will solve what he admits is a nice selectipn problem to have.

With Joe Morrell available again after a ban, does the Welshman come back into the midfield alongside Marlon Pack, with Alex Robertson pushing further forward? Or does the manager keep Robertson in the deeper-lying role he has thrived in of late and make Morrell wait for his return?

Everyone has their opinion as to how Pompey should line up - and the manager is giving it plenty of thought.

Mousinho told The News : 'It’s a really good problem to have. ‘Joe has been one of our best players this season and Alex has been one of our best players as well, with his form outstanding over the past couple of games.

‘Marlon is the club captain who’s come back in, played very well and looked like he hasn’t missed a minute of football. He keeps us ticking over very nicely, so it’s a really tough selection dilemma in the middle of the park.

'It’s nice to have that choice in many ways, because there are others who can compete in the middle of the park as well. It’s a really, really difficult one but the options it gives us strengthen the way we are able to approach the game.’

‘We’d seen Alex playing that deeper role a couple of times for Man City, so knew he could do it. He’s played there a fair bit.

‘He was initially playing higher up with Joe and Marlon in those positions and doing well. But when Marlon went off with his knee injury at Wigan, Alex slotted back there and then played there on the Tuesday night and was excellent. From there he’s just rolled on and we’re really pleased with him.’

The sides will meet on Monday night with promotion rivals closing the gap on their top two positions. Stevenage, Peterborough and Derby all won - with Posh convincing winners over Oxford - and are on 39, 38 and 36 points, with Pompey on 42 and Bolton on 39. Pompey and Derby have both played 19 games, Bolton 18 but Peterborough have got through 20 and Stevenage 21.

Photo: Action Images

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