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Portsmouth – The Team to Watch in 2008/09

By | 18th July 2008

The English Premier League is a unique league where each season brings one surprise package. Last season Portsmouth had a chance at that glory but the African Cup of Nations hampered the second half of their season. This year, however, Harry Redknapp’s team is looking primed and ready to take the Premiership by storm.

Let’s take a look at what this team has to offer, starting in goal. David James is one of many reinvigorated veterans on the team, and last season he showed why he was England’s number one. Time after time the eccentric goalie was counted on to make huge saves – and each time he came up with the goods. In front of him are some quality defenders such as veterans Sol Campbell, Lauren, and Sylvain Distin, while younger players like Glen Johnson are beginning to hit their stride. This blend of youth and experience that Redknapp has formed has paid dividends and should excite Pompey fans this upcoming year.

Portsmouth’s midfield is an impressive unit. The southern side have hard-hitting no-nonsense players like Papa Bouba Diop and Lassana Diarra while also having the silky skills of players like Niko Kranjcar and Sulley Muntari. Pedro Mendes, Arnold Mvuemba, Richard Hughes, and Sean Davis are all there as well, all of which are capable of stepping into the starting eleven at any point.

The front line is beginning to be a list of English internationals. David Nugent, Peter Crouch, and Jermain Defoe are all capped English players who should be good for a lot of goals this year (not Nugent so much, though). Besides the English core, pacy John Utaka has proven he can score in England and Kanu has made a career out of doing so. Ben Sahar is a young star on loan from Chelsea who should be able to bag a few goals in his limited time on the pitch.

All in all, this Portsmouth side should be very entertaining to watch in 2008 and 2009. If Redknapp can secure his next target – Shaun Wright-Phillips – then this side will be that much better. My only fear for Pompey is that they lack a true world-class left back. Redknapp has acknowledged this in his pursuit of Wayne Bridge, but a failure to sign him leaves them lacking there. The club said today that they need to sell in order to buy from here on out, but fringe players like Sean Davis and Djimi Traore should give Harry some finances to play around with.

Where do you think Pompey will end up this season? Leave your thoughts in the comments section, and test your football knowledge in Premiership Talk’s Fantasy Premier League hosted by Yahoo!

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