Aston Villa v Portsmouth Preview
By Steve Luckings. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp will be hoping his troops can repeat their opening day heroics and beat Aston Villa at Villa Park as they go in search of their first away win of the season.
Redknapp has to choose from a depleted squad that lies just one point above the relegation zone as he has Shaka Hislop, Nigel Quashie, Tim Sherwood, Steve Stone, Gary O'Neil, Svetoslav Todorov and Eddie Howe all out.
Pavel Srnicek could be recalled in goal after Harald Wapenaar injured his back in the FA Cup win over Blackpool at the weekend, while stopper Hayden Foxe is also a doubt with a swollen ankle.
Linvoy Primus and Patrik Berger are expected to recover from bugs that ruled them out at the weekend, while Ajax defender Petri Pasanen who joined the South Coast club on-loan for the rest of the season on Sunday is also expected to be named in the squad.
French defender Sebastien Schemmel is ruled out after accumulating five bookings for the season, and Jason Roberts is available again after being cup-tied against Blackpool.
Aston Villa boss David O'Leary will ask his troops to put the disappointment of FA Cup exit to Manchester United behind them and return to their league form which has seen The Villans go four games unbeaten in The Premiership.
Full back Mark Delaney has recovered sufficiently from the knee problem which will eventually require surgery and may replace Ulises de la Cruz.
Striker turned defender Dion Dublin is also available after being rested for the matches against Fulham and United and could come in for fellow veteran Ronny Johnsen.
Thomas Hitzlsperger could also earn a place in the starting line-up in midfield, although Lee Hendrie is unlikely to be kept out by the gash on the face which saw him stretchered off against United.