Word from Happy Harry is that Portsmouth will be taking the FA cup seriously this season; it doesn’t appear that Latics have got that luxury.  With priorities becoming clearer with every inept performance, Paul Jewell will be putting any thoughts of a trip to Wembley well out of mind and will instead be looking for solutions to our current problems. 

Whilst the team for League games has been a case of make do and mend for the last few games Jewell at least knows that, in this game, playing people from the bench will not result in lost points.  He’ll be even happier that if has a few more options available for the trip to Fratton Park.

There may be doubts over the fitness of both Haestad and Granqvist but both are in the squad and hoping for a first stab at English football Lee McCulloch is also available after serving his suspension.

Two players who won’t feature are ex-Pompey men De Zeeuw and Unsworth.  Ary will take the day off to rest his poorly toe whilst Jewell’s latest signing will have not been ready to travel with the squad.

So how would you play it?  Jewell seems to have a straight choice.  Does he leave things pretty much as they are and hope that what passes for the first team can pick up some form to carry over to the Chelsea game or does he play a second string to give the new signings and Tomas Cywka a run?

He’s been a law unto himself recently but with more than one eye on the rest of the season logic suggests that this game presents the best chance hell get to give experience of playing Premier League teams and to build match fitness for players who could have a massive part to play in his team’s survival. 

The Not a Patch on… team selection:
Pollitt; Hall, Jackson, Granqvist, Jackson, Wright; Teale, Cywka, Haestad, McCulloch; Johansson, Coterill

Prediction:
Pompey 1-1 Latics (and won’t we look forward to the replay?)

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