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The Opposition News

By: Jostein Jensen
Date: 16/05/2001

The main contenders for relegation excluding Grimsby will perhaps hold the key to our success or failure today. Portsmouth, Huddersfield and Crystal Palace face the same nail biting day as the Mariners. Their respective injury problems and possible lineups may have an effect on the game.

Crystal Palace

Caretaker boss Steve Kember will be happy to see David Hopkin and Simon Rodger back in the squad after injuries. Hopkin had been ruled out of the game with Portsmouth on Wednesday with an Achilles injury but is back in full training and is expected to return to the starting eleven. Rodger, meanwhile, has been hampered by a calf strain in recent weeks but should be fit to play.

Freedman, Mikael Forssell and Clinton Morrison will be the front runners.

Players who will not be appearing are Ricardo Fuller, Andrew Frampton and Andrejs Rubins. Assumed line up: Kolinko, Smith, Austin, Mullins, Freedman, Morrison, Thomson, Forssell, Carlisle or Hopkin, Berhalter and Riihilahti.

Portsmouth Milan Mandaric's team facing Yorkshire team Barnsley today will have to win with more than two goals more than Crystal Palace be totally safe after the lost in midweek

Pompey boss Graham Rix has no new injury worries, and he also may have Nigel Quashie back from a dead leg probably on the bench. Players out are Allen, Hughes, Curtis, Moore, Thogersen, Derry, Edinburgh.

Pompey haven't won at home on the last day of the season since May 1993. Then they Beat Grimsby 2-1, although they needed one more goal to pass West Ham to reach the Premiership.

Assumed line up: Petterson, Hiley, Primus, Tiler, Vincent, Waterman, Panopoulos, Sharpe, Harper, Bradbury and Mills


Skipper Chris Lucketti has spelt out the task facing his team-mates in Sunday's showdown against Birmingham. They need a win or a draw to preserve their First Division status.

Lucketti said: "We need another good solid performance just like the ones we have been turning in for the past few months. The lads have all been pulling together with a tremendous spirit in the squad and I think everyone who has watched us has realised we've had a solid team shape.

"We have been keeping things tight at the back while creating chances up front and everyone has been working hard. "If we do the same on Sunday then I'm sure we will be okay and that would be great for the fans who have been brilliant all season."

Jonathan Dyson is out with a back injury while Martin Smith has had knee surgery. It's believed that the Terriers will use the same team as in the last rounds - but the goalie Vaesen will be back after a one-match suspension. The boss Lou Macari will try to get at least one point from the match to avoid relegation.

Assumed line up: Vaesen, Jenkins, Armstrong, Lucketti, Gray, Thornley, Facey, Baldry, Heary, Holland and Booth.

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