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Match Previews

Preview: Portsmouth

8 April 2022

Match Previews

Preview: Portsmouth

8 April 2022

The big games keep on coming at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium even in the closing stages of Cheltenham Town's League One campaign.

On Saturday it is a visit from Portsmouth to Gloucestershire as Michael Duff's side return to home action following three consecutive away trips (kick-off: 3pm).

Portsmouth are another big hitter in the division. The former Premier League side have sold out a full away end for the match and tickets have sold quickly in all home sections too for the game.

If you want to buy it's recommended you do so before midnight on Friday to save £2 on matchday prices. You can purchase online.

With a large crowd expected at the match fans are advised to leave plenty of time to pick up their tickets and get into the game. You can find out more about what's on offer on Saturday in the match guide for supporters.

Team news

It's hoped that Kion Etete could return to the side after his recent injury troubles. Charlie Colkett is making progress but Saturday may be too soon for him to return.

Fellow mid-season arrival Charlie Brown (pictured) made his debut after a period out injured last Saturday at Accrington Stanley and is expected to be involved again.

Media talk

Michael Duff has highlighted the quality in Portsmouth's squad ahead of the game, which he feels will still be able to impact the game despite their long away trip to Bolton Wanderers in midweek.

"The squad they've got is really good. They've had a long week in terms of playing Bolton away on a Tuesday and then us away on the Saturday, but they've got that much quality in their squad they can change a few players and it won't make the team any weaker at all," he said when he spoke to the press on iFollow.

"They are a much improved team from what they were earlier in the season in my opinion. I think it will be a tough game."

Midfielder Elliot Bonds has also been previewing the match and he knows that if him and his teammates put on the right performance they give themselves every chance of picking up a result.

"We try to do what we do, try and compete, and do the stuff that's got us where we are right now. Nothing really changes," he said when speaking on iFollow.

"We know we're a fit team. We can run over teams. That's non-negotiable for every game. That's what we'll try and do."

Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley has pointed out Alfie May as a danger man to his side this weekend.

“It’s probably the tightest pitch you’ll play on in this division on Saturday and we’ll be facing a very determined Cheltenham side," he said on their website.

“They’ve done extremely well under Michael Duff and are an organised team – both in and out of possession.

“There have been some excellent results for them at home and in Alfie May, they’ve got the in-form striker in League One.

“We’ve got a lot of respect for them and what they’ve achieved, so we’ll have to be at our very best to come out on the right side.”


Failing to win any of their last four games may have proven costly in Portsmouth's hopes of reaching the League One play-offs. They still have an outside chance of reaching the top six but will need an exceptional run of results after difficult outings of late against Ipswich Town, Plymouth Argyle, Wycombe Wanderers and most recently Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday evening.

They are 10th in the division but possess a number of impressive players in their squad who would make it into most teams starting XIs in the third tier.

One familiar face and a regular starter in their midfield is Joe Morrell. The former Cheltenham loanee was a part of Wales' EURO 2020 squad last summer in the championship finals and he's joined in their midfield set-up by the likes of long-serving Marcus Harness, former Wigan Athletic man Michael Jacobs and the highly experienced Shaun Williams.

Their forward line features the dangerous Ronan Curtis and Leicester City loanee George Hirst. Tyler Walker, son of former England man Des, is another option at the top of the pitch.

Defensively Sean Raggett has worked with Pompey boss Danny Cowley previously at Lincoln City, while Scotsman Clark Robertson carries the captains armband. In goal is Republic of Ireland shot-stopper Gavin Bazunu who is on a season-long loan from Manchester City.

The manager: Danny Cowley

Last month Danny Cowley celebrated a year in charge at Fratton Park. It's his third job in the Football League having guided Lincoln City back to League Two as National League champions in 2017, and also spending time in charge of Huddersfield Town in the Championship.

His management career began in the Essex Senior League with Concord Rangers who he helped guide through the levels, taking the Canvey Island outfit to the National League South before departing for Braintree Town where he helped the Irons make the National League play-offs in an eyecatching 2015/16 campaign.

He's assisted by his brother, Nicky, who like Danny worked as a PE teacher before breaking into football full-time in recent seasons.


There are very few seated tickets on sale for the game. Only single seats remain with limited availability in the Colin Farmer Stand and Autovillage Stand.

You can however purchase tickets for the standing areas in the Optimising IT Stand, Paddock and Tunnel. To do this buy online up to midday on matchday or you can buy from the matchday ticket point next to the bowls club in the car park in the lead up to kick-off.

Fans collecting pre-paid tickets for the Colin Farmer Stand can do this from next to the Parklands turnstiles. Pre-paid tickets for the Autovillage Stand and standing areas are available from the matchday ticket point in the car park.

Away supporters can collect tickets for the Hazlewood Stands from next to the entrance to this stand.

Match programme

Pick up a copy of Saturday's match programme from around the stadium. Priced at £3, the big interview in Saturday's edition is with Aston Villa loanee Aaron Ramsey.

There are a number of other reads featuring Liam Sercombe, Charlie Brown, Michael Duff and much more from around the club.

The programme is also available to purchase online.


Social media: Stay up to date on matchday by following @CTFCofficial on Twitter. You can also check in on Facebook and Instagram for score updates.

Listen: Full match radio commentary is available on iFollow. Tune in with a match pass by subscribing for £2.50 online. If you are in Gloucestershire you can tune into full match commentary on BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

Website: The match report will be up on the website after the game plus the reaction from inside the squad to the final result.

Highlights: Extended highlights will be available to watch on iFollow. Shorter highlights will be shown on Quest, Sky Sports and YouTube.

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