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In opposition: Sheffield United v Portsmouth

24 October 2012

Portsmouth have vastly improved over recent weeks and they now find themselves in a good position in the npower League 1 table. Their next task is a trip to high-flying Sheffield United on Monday evening.

Here, we preview the game with the help of a supporter from each club.



Name: Richard Lawrence.

Club: Sheffield United.

Number of years as a supporter: 38.

Favourite moment as a fan: Standing on the cop inside a full house at Bramall Lane, with the whole crowd singing the 'chip butty' song.

How many games a season do you attend? Not as many as I would like these days, I live a long way from Sheffield and I've got a young family, which doesn't help.

Where do you sit? Always on the cop, unless I take my nan, in which case we sit in the South Stand.


Name: Steve Morgan.

Club: Portsmouth.

Number of years as a supporter: 35.

Favourite moment as a fan: The cheer Linvoy Primus received as he took his turn to lift the FA Cup in 2008. Sometimes a non-football moment best encapsulates what it all means. There are many memories of goals, wins, promotions, but Primus was the ultimate example of the special bond that can exist between players and supporters. A very, very moving moment - the guy hadn't even played, but everyone knew his part in the story that had helped us there. I'll never forget it.

How many games a season do you attend? Anything between 15-30 depending on the madhouse politics, my sports taxi duties with the kids and the vibe at the club.

Where do you sit? North Stand lower.


What happened in your last match?

RL: Last week we narrowly beat Preston North End 1-0 when we should have scored three or four and almost threw away the three points at the death. Another 1-0 win followed in midweek against Walsall. They all count, but we've had too many 1-0s for my liking.

SM: We managed to beat Shrewsbury Town 3-1 on Saturday, and that's always nice when you haven't played well. We then lost a close game at Stevenage, who are on a good run. That said, we're on a good little run ourselves, finding our feet amid the endless off-pitch mayhem.

Why is this game important?

RL: I live in Hampshire and most of my friends are Pompey fans - it's all about the bragging rights.

SM: We haven't won at Bramall Lane for something like 70 years - so every time it comes around, it's a chance to banish that hoodoo. And it's one of the more obviously glamorous fixtures - Sheffield's a great, underrated city, too.

How do you see this game going?

RL: It will probably be a draw if this season's results are anything to go by. If we're lucky we'll shade it 1-0. As long as we maintain our unbeaten record this season that'll do.

SM: We've conceded a few early goals, but seem to be finding the net with increasing regularity. As we've been quite decent away of late, we've got a chance of taking a point at least.

Who should we keep our eye on?

Nick Blackman seems to have found his scoring boots now that he's settled in, he's got a point to prove after not getting enough opportunities at Blackburn.RL:

SM: Izale McLeod needs one goal for double figures, centre-half Gabor Gyepes has an eye for goal and Luke Rodgers takes a decent set-piece.

Any memories of previous encounters?

RL: Watching my wife - a Pompey fan - being knocked off of her stool behind the United goal from a Pompey piledriver whilst photographing the game during the 1996/97 season. She was helped up by the United keeper, who called for the trainer when he saw a lump the size of an ostrich egg on her forehead.

Score prediction?

RL: 1-0, but hopefully we'll score more than one for a change.

SM: 1-2.

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