The Robins are unbeaten, having beaten the likes of Exeter City, Swindon Town, Newport County, and Torquay United at the High-Performance Centre. City’s squad depth has been on show as they’ve been able to name two strong XI’s in most games.
Portsmouth will pose a good test to Bristol City ahead of their opener against Preston North End on Saturday, August 5. Pompey have ambitions of getting promoted to the Championship and have recruited well, signing Bristol City-linked Regan Poole, as well as other players.
Tomorrow’s team may give us a hint as to what we can expect against Preston, but also gives us some questions. Sometimes whatever team is named in their final friendly is likely the opening day XI, and in other cases it’s one final audition for players who are on the fringes of a starting berth.
Nigel Pearson isn’t a manager that likes to chop and change too much and he may have a team already in mind against the Lilywhites, but his mind can always be changed if he thinks a player is performing better than the other if they play in the same position.
As for team news against Portsmouth, both Tommy Conway and Zak Vyner were withdrawn for precautionary measures against Cheltenham Town. Kal Naismith has not featured much this pre-season whilst Rob Atkinson and Ayman Benarous are recovering from their ACL injuries. Summer signing Ross McCrorie is also nursing a knock and might not play against his former club.
Below is the starting XI we think Pearson should go with at Fratton Park. The game will be streamed both on Portsmouth’s iFollow and on Robins TV, with kick-off at 3.00 pm in Hampshire.