The tables have been turned on this south coast derby.
Only a few years ago it was Portsmouth in the Premier League and Bournemouth languishing in English football’s lower tiers. In fact, Portsmouth were doing much more than just surviving in the Premier League; under Harry Redknapp, Pompey were winning the FA Cup themselves and welcoming AC Milan to Fratton Park. In fact, they drew 2-2 with the Rossoneri, conceded late goals from Ronaldinho and Filippo Inzaghi to surrender their leading position.
These days it’s Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth who are the most likely to host big name opposition at a compact south coast ground, but you get the feeling that just surviving in the division is the aim this season. A Cup run would be romantic and wonderful for the Cherries, but it would also be a distraction that their depleted squad could possibly do without.
But whoever wins this game will find themselves in an FA Cup fifth round – the last 16 – and that’s when you can start to dream about making it all the way.
Here are the teams:
— AFC Bournemouth (@afcbournemouth) January 30, 2016
#Pompey team v Bournemouth: Fulton; Davies, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Close, Doyle (c); Roberts, McNulty, Bennett; McGurk
— Portsmouth FC (@officialpompey) January 30, 2016