Our prediction for this League 1 match:
All eyes will be on Highbury Stadium when Fleetwood Town and Portsmouth square off against each other in the opening match of the season. The Cod Army were having their ups and downs in pre-season, and it is no surprise the bookies see them as underdogs in Saturday’s clash. It has to be noted that the club chiefs managed to keep hold of key attacker Callum Camps, who scored nine goals in the League One last term.
The Pompey, on the other hand, are on a quest to return to the Championship. Portsmouth aim to kick off the new season in great manner, and seeing that the club owners reinforced the squad in the summer transfer window, we are tempted to put our money on the visiting team. In their last encounter in the League One Portsmouth defeated Fleetwood Town thanks to John Marquis’ goal.
Highlighted Player (Glenn Whelan):
Probably one of the most underrated footballers in Premier League history, Glenn Whelan was born on 13 January 1982 in Dublin and he went on to enjoy a very successful career on club and international level.
Following spells with Manchester City, Bury and Sheffield Wednesday, the defensive midfielder found his peace at the Britannia Stadium, making over 250 Premier League appearances for Stoke City and keeping his place in the side under both Tony Pulis and Mark Hughes. Predominantly focused on doing the dirty defensive work and helping out the back four, Whelan never quite made the headlines for his style of play or quality of his displays, but remained an important player for both club and country.
The midfielder has so far made over 70 appearances for the Republic of Ireland national team, wearing the captain’s armband on several occasions, and starting all three group games at the Euro 2012 finals, while helping The Green Army qualify for the Euro 2016 as well.
Highlighted Team (Portsmouth):
During Milan Mandaric’s era at the club, Portsmouth played an important role in the Premier League, with the team finishing their debut season (2003/2004) in the 13th position in the standings. The club impressed in the 2008/2009 season, with Nwankwo Kanu’s goal helping them beat Cardiff City in the FA Cup final.
As a result, Portsmouth represented England in the Europa League, with the team progressing in the group stages of the competition thanks to a win over Vitoria Gimaraes in the final qualifying round. The current club was formed in 2013, but the original amateur club was founded back in 1883. Nowadays Portsmouth host their rivals at Fratton Park, with the venue holding up to 20,620 spectators.
The likes of Sol Campbell, David James, Glen Johnson and aforementioned Nigeria international Nwankwo Kanu are considered one of the club’s most notable players. Portsmouth wear blue shirts, white shorts and red socks when hosting their rivals at Fratton Park, while wearing white and blue colours when playing on the road.