Preview: Portsmouth v Sunderland
In a game where a win would safeguard the Mackem`s Premiership future, Sunderland could welcome left back George McCartney back to the starting XI. The Black Cats will stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation that worked so well at Bolton and midfielders Kieran Richardson and Teemu Tainio and striker Kenwyne Jones are fit to keep their places in the team.
With the News of the World reporting that Slaven Bilic has emerged as a front-runner to take the reins at Sunderland in the summer, current boss Ricky Sbragia will also be looking for a victory in an effort to ensure that he remains as Sunderland boss.
Sunderland (from): Fulop, Colgan, Bardsley, McCartney, Ferdinand, Davenport, Collins, Ben Haim, McShane, Edwards, Richardson, Tainio, Reid, Whitehead, Leadbitter, Malbranque, Yorke, Cisse, Jones, Healy, Murphy
Portsmouth`s top flight football was secured this weekend without needing to kick a ball. Pompy welcome back Noe Pamarot from suspension and Armand Traore from injury but could be without Younes Kaboul after being substituted at half time in the defeat against Blackburn. Kaboul was a transfer target for the Roy Keane last summer.
Portsmouth (from): James, Johnson, Kaboul, Campbell, Distin, Hreidarsson, Pennant, Mullins, Hughes, Nugent, Crouch, Utaka, Basinas, Pamarot, Belhadj, Kanu, Traore, Cranie, Primus, Begovic, Ashdown
Last 5 meetings between the two clubs:
8/11/2008 - Sunderland 1 Portsmouth 2
23/02/2008 - Portsmouth 1 Sunderland 0
13/01/2008 - Sunderland 2 Portsmouth 0
22/04/2006 - Portsmouth 2 Sunderland 1
29/10/2005 - Sunderland 1 Portsmouth 4