Our prediction for this League 1 match:
Portsmouth will look to kickstart the new League One campaign in great manner when they take on Bristol Rovers on Saturday afternoon. The Pompey are eager to make amends for the unsuccessful 2022/2023 season where they failed to reach the playoffs and we are positive that they will go all guns blazing at the Pirates. The signings of Will Norris, Conor Shaughnessy, Christian Saydee, Terry Devlin, Anthony Scully and Ben Stevenson mean the hosts have big ambitions for the upcoming campaign.
Bristol Rovers, on the other hand, are eager to put an end to their three-game losing run in head-to-head meetings with Portsmouth, but seeing that John Mousinho’s troops have turned their Fratton Park into a real fortress, home win should be considered. Men to watch in the away team will be George Friend, Luke Thomas, and Jevani Brown, who have joined the Memorial Stadium outfit this summer.
Highlighted Player (George Friend):
George Friend has played for no less than nine English clubs so far in his career. Friend made his first-team debut for non-League club Exeter City on April 17, 2006 in a goalless draw with Forest Green Rovers and he stayed at St James Park until 2008. After ending his loan spells with Tiverton Town and Team Bath he joined Wolverhampton, but he made no more than seven appearances for the Wolves in the league.
The 188-cm-tall left-back, who is capable of playing as a centre-back as well, played for the likes of Millwall, Southend, Scunthorpe United and Exeter City on loan during his spell with Wolverhampton and at the end of the 2009/2010 season he signed a two-year deal with Doncaster Rovers. Friend made his Doncaster debut on August 7, 2010 in a 2-0 win over Preston and after three years at the club he was sold to Middlesbrough for a fee of £100,000.
The left-footed defender has been playing for Boro ever since and you should know that he made 24 appearances for the club in the 2016/2017 Premier League campaign.
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.