This afternoon’s match has taken on far more importance than anyone would have predicted a month ago. Having taken only one point in 18 West Ham know that they are on a very dangerous slide. I have to admit that due to work commitments I haven’t seen them play since mid September, but by all accounts we have played good, attacking football with scant reward. We also have to learn to play 90 minutes, rather than 70.
There will undoubtedly be a few changes made today in the lineup. Valon Behrami is back in contention after a few weeks out and Carlton Cole’s suspension should see him restored to the attack.
I expect the lineup to be Green, Ilunga, Neill, Upson, Collins, Etherington, Parker, Bowyer, Behrami, Cole, Bellamy. However, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Sears and Collison retain their places at the expense of Etherington and Bowyer.
It’s a good time to play Portsmouth as they try to find their feet under Tony Adams. Let’s hope we play good, attacking football, but make sure that we defend when we need to. That’s why I think it would be best to play Bowyer and Parker together in midfield. If we can control midfield we can control the game. We only ever seem to come apart when the midfield duo can’t get into the game.
I’m not going to make a prediction!