By Site reporter
Tuesday 01 Apr 2008 22:39:51
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Pompey are hopeful their minor injuries will clear up in time for three key players to face West Brom at Wembley on Saturday. Meanwhile, west Brom have played their last game before the semi-final, and Pompey's skipper has a pre-semi warning for his team-mates.

Oxygen chamber treatment in a hospital in Gosport will help John Utaka and Hermann Hreidarsson win their battles to face the Baggies. The process, which they are undergoing at Haslar, speeds up healing of injuries.

The technique has been used successfully in the past by David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard.

The News says Utaka is rated the most doubtful of the two with a hamstring pull. He has had a scan on the problem. Pompey's medical staff are awaiting the results. They are wary of rushing him back early in case of exacerbating the problem and causing a full-blown hamstring strain.

Of more concern to fans will be the fitness of Hreidarsson, who has had three stitches in his Achilles. He is reckoned more likely to be able declare himself available.

Niko Kranjcar bruised a shin against Wigan following a challenge from Josip Skoko. The Croat was able to take part in a recovery session at training on Monday and will be fine for Wembley.

Lassana Diarra is also back in full training for the past few days, while Lucien Aubey - a possible replacement for HH if he doesn't make it - has started running following a hamstring scare.

The injury update came as Sol Campbell warned his team-mates West Brom should be taken as seriously as Manchester United were in the last round.

He told www.portsmouthfc.co.uk: 'Even though they’re in a division below us you can’t start thinking that it will be an easy game. Too many top sides have fallen by the wayside this year – they’ve probably been a bit too casual.

'Ipswich was a difficult game, Plymouth nearly scored at the end to take the game to a replay and we won thanks to a last minute own goal against Preston. I don’t think too many people gave us a chance against Manchester United but the lads were fantastic and we got a good result.

'We’ll approach the game properly and we won’t be underestimating West Brom. I certainly won’t be taking them lightly. They’ve got some good players with Premier League experience. They’re no mugs and they know how to play football.

'We’ll just have to go out there and play the game the best we can. If you don’t show respect to the teams that you’re facing then things can go wrong.'

West Brom came through their final test before Wembley without any new injuries - they drew 0-0 at Cardiff.

Pompey reserves lost 2-0 at home to Reading - the side included no-one thought likely to be anywhere near the squad on Saturday - while at the bottom of the Championship, Sheffield Wednesday's point at home to Coventry, courtesy of a last-minute equaliser, sees them out of the bottom three.

They are replaced in the relegation zone by Southampton.

Discuss the Championship relegation battle now - on the messageboard (oh and the FA Cup semi-final, if you like)


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