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Stuart Dalgleish 11th Jan 2010 - 19:32

Sky Blues to add to Pompey’s woes

It's not been the best of seasons so far for Portsmouth, rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, players failing to get paid on time and owners who seem reluctant to show their face in the country, let alone attend Fratton Park for a match.

To add to their misery they look up against it in trying to stay in the FA Cup, which would've been their best hope of securing some much needed extra finances.

Fair enough they are the Premier League team, but with just two wins on their travels all season, their goalkeeper still struggling with a calf injury and with four of their star players on Africa Cup of Nations duty it doesn't look good for their chances of having a good cup run.

They come into this game with Coventry as the Sky Blues are enjoying their best run of the season, with four wins from their last six games, and they're a solid outfit at the Ricoh Arena as they've lost only twice there since August - one of those to the runaway leaders Newcastle.

Pompey aren't without hope though as City have a few players unavailable through one way or another.

Aron Gunnarsson, who scored a sensational goal in last year's competition as City drew against Blackburn Rovers, limped off at the weekend as they beat Barnsley and is a doubt for this replay, loan signings Leon Barnett and Gary Madine aren't allowed permission to play by their parent clubs, Carl Baker has already played in the cup for Stockport this season so is cup-tied and Gary Deegan hasn't been registered to play in the FA Cup.

Even without these players though (who aren't all guaranteed first team places anyway), City look in much better shape than their opponents and should be able to set up a home tie with Sunderland in the 4th round.

Chris Coleman's side, with five wins out of six against Portsmouth at home, are 6/4 shots to win the match, the draw is a 21/10 chance. The 2008 winners, who haven't beaten Coventry in five previous FA Cup matches, are 6/4 to buck that trend and book a place in the next round.

Coventry don't score many, but they certainly make the most of their chances, one of these players who has been tucking away the chances of late is Freddie Eastwood. The former Southend man struggled in his first season at the Ricoh, managing just four goals, but he's already managed two more than that this season and has five of them in his last six matches, at 6/1 he looks a good bet to grab the opener in this game.

With the likes of Leon Best (also 6/1 to score first) and Clinton Morrison (13/2) also scoring goals this season, City will be confident of putting away any chances that will come their way.

Unsurprisingly for a team heading towards relegation, Avram Grant's team have had problems finding the back of the net, and with some of their recent goalscorers currently in Angola they'll struggle to find many openings on Tuesday night in the Midlands.

Kevin-Prince Boateng scored the equaliser at Fratton Park though and has four to his name so far this season so could be their best hope at odds of 9/1 to get the first of this game.

Don't forget to join us live to bet In-Play on a huge range of markets on what should be a cracking cup tie.


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