Preview: Portsmouth v Blues

Here's our full match preview of tonight's Carabao Cup First Round tie at Portsmouth (7.45pm).

Pep Clotet on the clash . . . 

“We had to work very hard on Saturday to get that result (at Brentford).
“We will assess during this week what we could have done better.
“Tuesday, it’s another game. We will concentrate on that one for now.
“Maybe it is an opportunity to assess some of the players who have been banging the door to be involved.
“That is important for the future of the Club.
“We want to win every game. In football, your intention is to go out and be certain that you can win.
“Yes, we know anything can happen, you can’t guarantee things.
“But I know whoever is wearing our shirt shirt, they will go out there with the mentality of winning the game.”

Blues team news . . .

Jacques Maghoma damaged his calf at Brentford and Kerim Mrabti injured his hamstring. Jonathan Grounds and Cheick Keita remain sidelined.

Portsmouth team news . . .

Pompey will be without on-loan Rangers midfielder Ross McCrorie following his sending off at Shrewsbury. Defender James Bolton will also be absent after suffering an ankle injury in the weekend defeat. Defender Ryan Williams and midfielder Bryn Morris remain on the sidelines for Jackett's team, whilst Sean Raggett, a centre-half on loan from Norwich City, is in line to make his Pompey debut after recovering from an elbow injury.

Kenny Jackett on Pompey's first game on home soil this season..

“We want to have a big week and are looking forward to getting back to Fratton Park for the first time.
"It’s important to build up some momentum, an understanding and cohesion to bounce back from Saturday (when Pompey lost 1-0 at Shrewsbury).
"We want to hit the ground running in terms of our home form and make sure we’re heading in the right direction.
"It will be a pretty similar team to the weekend, with one or two changes. Everybody’s feeling fresh and looking to play.
"Birmingham are an established Championship side and got a great win at Brentford, which they’ll be looking to build on.
"It’s difficult to tell what they’re going to do with their team and they will certainly have their own agenda.
"But while we’ll respect that it’s a hard game, we want to get into a routine and a rhythm.
"We want to do well in this competition, even if the league is our priority."
Last five meetings between Blues and Portsmouth

March 2012 Championship - Portsmouth 4 Blues 1
February 2012 Championship - Blues 1 Portsmouth 0
March 2010 Premier League - Portsmouth 1 Blues 2
March 2010 FA Cup QF - Portsmouth 2 Blues 0
August 2009 Premier League - Blues 1 Portsmouth 0

Facts and figures

Blues have won only ONCE in their last TEN visits to Fratton Park. 
Blues are undefeated in their last EIGHT competitive fixtures dating back to late March.

Match officials

Referee - Neil Hair
Assistant Referee - Bhupinder Gill
Assistant Referee - Leigh Crowhurst
Fourth Official - Antony Coggins


Audio commentary of tonight's game is available on BluesTV. Paul Tait is your expert summariser, alongside commentator Jonathan Bell.

Supporters message

The Club urges all supporters to be responsible in their behaviour and actions. Birmingham City knows that the overwhelming majority of our supporters do not indulge in anti-social activities and are passionate about the players and the Club. We appreciate this and never take it for granted. We adopt a zero-tolerance stance on anti-social behaviour and spectator misconduct. This includes - amongst other things - drunkenness, throwing of missiles and use and carrying of pyrotechnics (flares, smoke bombs), racist and/or homophobic chanting. Pitch encroachment is forbidden and against the law. Please DO NOT encroach onto the pitch, under any circumstances. Think of the damage you may be doing to your Club and also the punishment you may incur personally. It is important that bottles, coins, flares and other items not thrown at our matches. Again, we would like to thank the overwhelming majority of supporters for their backing and their understanding.