Pompey One To Watch: Dave Nugent
Cardiff City travel to face Portsmouth at Fratton Park this weekend, looking to inflict more misery on the cash strapped Pompey, who have picked up just one point from their three games so far this season.
Portsmouth's fortunes have deteriorated massively since 'that day' back in May 2008 when Harry Redknapp's side squeezed past the Bluebirds thanks to a Kanu finish from enckelman's fumble. Administration, player sales and key personnel changes have seen a slump from UEFA place challengers and established Premiership outfit, to a small and weakened squad and persistent financial turmoil.
Nevertheless, Fratton Park is an intimidating place to visit, and a quick glance at the Pompey teamsheet is sufficient to know that on their day, Portsmouth can beat anyone in this division. What thety lack in strnght-in-depth, is made up for by expereince and quality running through the morale-sapped club.
Jame AShdown is a good 'keeper, looking to emerge from David James' shadow. The livewire Tommy Smith, and experienced duo of Richard Hughes and Hayden Mullins point to an impressive core of players, capable of challenging in this league despite financial uncertainty. In Mokoena and Marc Wilson at the back, they have a very strong looking defence - hopefully Wilson will be departed by the weekend match - with Stoke his likely destination.
However, another player of not in the Pompey line-up is exciting forward David Nugent. The former Preston North End star always looked destined to play in the Premiershi, but has never gotten a prolonged run - there is absolutely no doubting however, that Nugent remains a potent threat in the Championship - and will score goals.
Nugent spent much of last season on loan with over-performing Burnleym, but the Clarets were eventually relegated despite a useful contribution of 6 goals from Nugent.
The Bluebirds have a strong attacking unit, but remain defensively frail, shipping two second half goals to Peterborough United during the week. Nugent will pose far more of a threat than Mackail-Smith and co, and Pomepey will surely show more attacking intent at home than Doncaster Rovers applied last weekend during the 4-0 home win for City.
Portsmouth are currently in the relegation zone of the embryonic Championship table - the quality in the squad suggests they will not stay there too long.