AFC Bournemouth host Portsmouth for the first time in a league game since October 1989.
Since that game the two clubs have travelled in very different directions.
While Portsmouth were in the Premier League, winning the FA Cup and playing in European competitions, the Cherries were in the process of receiving a ten point penalty for dropping into administration that ultimately relegated them out of League One. The Cherries then received a seventeen point deduction the following season and had to fight for their own existence with the threat of dropping out of the Football League, then an 16 month transfer embargo, which at times forced then manager Eddie Howe to name a school boy and his previously twice retired assistant manager in the squad to make up a match day side of 14.
Fast forward to today and the Cherries have been labelled as ‘money bags Bournemouth’ by Radio Solent and ‘the Real Madrid of League One by stadium:mk boss Karl Robinson, whilst Portsmouth have dropped down the leagues following two administrations and two relegations.
Portsmouth head into the game still in administration, their takeover has taken a number of twists including new developments this week and their future appears uncertain.
On the pitch and the two teams couldn’t go into the game with more contrasting form.
The Cherries with one league defeat in 19 games, Pompey with 14 defeats in 17 games and without a victory since October.
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe told afcb.co.uk…
“Looking at them now, they are having a very difficult time. We have looked at their recent form and watched them a lot of times. What I will say is that they haven`t been beaten by big margins, highlighted on Tuesday when they lost to a goal give minutes from time.
“They have a lot of young players in their squad and they are giving everything got their club. I have known Guy Whittingham and Andy Awford for a long time and they are doing an excellent job.
“We don`t in any way underestimate Portsmouth, it would be foolish to do so. You have the added factor that it is a local derby. There will be a big crowd with both sets of supporters backing their teams with passion…”
AFC Bournemouth Team News:
AFC Bournemouth head into the game short of options at the back.
Left back Charlie Daniels has missed the last couple of games with a foot problem, while stand in captain Tommy Elphick is set to miss the next two to three weeks following the horror challenge from Lowe last Saturday.
Miles Addison remains sidelined, which could mean that Howe names the same back four as we finished with at stadium:mk with right winger Matt Ritchie filling in at left back with Steve Cook partnered by Dan Seaborne, with Simon Francis at right back.
Darryl Flahavan, Stephen Purches and Charlie Sheringham all remain on the sidelines, but Shaun MacDonald could make a return.
Player to watch: Matt Ritchie
Former Portsmouth trainee Matt Ritchie looks set to make his Dean Court debut against his former club.
If Charlie Daniels fails a fitness test Ritchie is likely to fill in at left back where he played the second half on Saturday.
If Daniels is selected Ritchie could revert to his more familiar role of right wing where he was one of the most dangerous players in the division for Swindon.
Portsmouth Team News:
Pompey hope to extend the loan of former AFC Bournemouth loanee James Keene ahead of the match.
The striker was set to return to parent club Elfsborg this week.
Player to watch: Shaun Cooper
After returning to Dean Court in December with new club Crawley, the Cherries former captain returns again following his loan move to Pompey.
Cooper made 240 appearances for the Cherries during a seven year spell at the club.
Match Facts & Stats
Head to Head
Bournemouth wins – 5
Portsmouth wins – 8
Draws – 5
Last time out
Paul Groves AFC Bournemouth travelled to Fratton Park on the opening day of the season and drew 1-1.
Just weeks later the Cherries made the trip again in the Paint Pot trophy.
Despite dominating the game in front of the Sky camera’s the Cherries went on to lose on penalties.
12th February 2013, Crewe Alexandra Vs. AFC Bournemouth