Pompey to field strongest side in cup

PORTSMOUTH manager Harry Redknapp today confirmed that he will be fielding his strongest side in Saturday's FA Cup third round game at Portman Road.The Pompey boss wants to make progress in the competition, and he is in no doubt that his Premier League top eight side faces a stiff challenge against Coca-Cola Championship Ipswich Town.

By Elvin King

PORTSMOUTH manager Harry Redknapp today confirmed that he will be fielding his strongest side in Saturday's FA Cup third round game at Portman Road.

The Pompey boss wants to make progress in the competition, and he is in no doubt that his Premier League top eight side faces a stiff challenge against Coca-Cola Championship Ipswich Town.

The south coast side have won eight of their last nine away games, which is a remarkable record.

But they will be taking no chances against an Ipswich team that has not lost at home for 17 games - winning 11 of their 13 matches at Portman Road this season.

Redknapp will have his players who are bound for the African Cup of Nations at his disposal on Saturday and Papa Bouba Diop, Sulley Muntari, John Utaka and Nwanko Kanu will all be

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considered for selection.

Pompey won 2-0 at Reading on Tuesday and Redknapp is unlikely to make many changes - if any - which means that former Town star Hermann Hreidarsson will be at left back having made a big impression with the Fratton Park-based club.

England defender Sol Campbell is also set to be in the Portsmouth defence with another international, David James, in goal.

Blues boss Jim Magilton is also unlikely to tinker unduly with his team after their heartening 2-0 victory over Championship leaders West Brom on New Year's Day.

Skipper Jason De Vos took a blow in the face, but will be fit with Sylvain Legwinski and Alan Lee two players who could possibly come into the starting line-up.

Magilton said today: “I am a big fan of the FA Cup and taking on a top Premier League side in front of our own fans is a challenge that I am relishing.

“Portsmouth are having a great season with a wonderful away record.

“They are where we want to be, and the match will give us an indication of the standards required to be a success in the top flight.

“Harry Redknapp has done a terrific job, and the game has all the ingredients of being a magnificent cup tie.”

The match has caught the imagination of the public with a crowd in the region of 20,000 expected.

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