Mr Portsmouth

Carlisle United vs Portsmouth

Premiership strugglers Portsmouth visit Brunton Park for the Carling Cup third round tie on Tuesday night. 350 miles separate Carlisle and Portsmouth, but Paul Hart and his men will be hoping that this journey will be made easier after victory.

After very disappointing starts to the season, Tuesday night provides both teams with a welcome distraction from their league troubles.

Form and team news

Pompey have failed to gain a single point in the league this season, whilst Carlisle have eight points from eight games.

Under-pressure Paul Hart has many selection dilemmas ahead of the clash with Steve Finnan, Hermann Hreidarsson and Papa Bouba Diop all out injured. Whereas new-boys Jamie O’Hara, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Tommy Smith are all cup tied.

Carlisle have no new injury worries with Joe Anyinsah and Tom Taiwo pushing for starts after the blues’ poor performance at Oldham on Saturday.

In six games, Portsmouth have scored three goals in the Premier League, however Carlisle are finding it difficult to find the net as well, scoring just eight goals in eight games.

How they reached the third round

Portsmouth entered the competition in the second round and fielded a strong team to beat Hereford at home 4-1. Carlisle saw off Oldham 1-0 in the first round and impressed away at Bristol City, winning the game 2-0. The result left Carlisle the second lowest ranked team (above Port Vale) left in the competition.

Betting

Carlisle 14/5 Draw 5/2 Portsmouth 8/11

First scorer:

Carlisle

Scott Dobie 7/1, Joe Anyinsah 7/1, Richard Offiong 8/1, Graham Kavanagh 12/1, Ian Harte 14/1

Portsmouth

Frederic Piquionne 9/2, Aruna Dindane 5/1, Kanu 11/2, Danny Webber 6/1, John Utaka 7/1

Prediction

I predict Carlisle to start brightly but fail to capitalise, leaving the score at 0-0 at half time. Although Pompey have many injuries and have lost several players during the transfer window, I still think they will win this tie.

Carlisle 0-1 Portsmouth

Other Carling Cup Predictions

Arsenal 3-1 West Brom

Barnsley 1-2 Burnley

Bolton 0-2 West Ham

Leeds 1-2 Liverpool

Nottingham Forest 1-0 Blackburn

Peterborough 0-1 Newcastle

Scunthorpe 2-3 Port Vale

Stoke 1-2 Blackpool

Sunderland 3-0 Birmingham