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Portsmouth play their home games at Fratton Park, in Portsmouth. It is the only football stadium in the English professional leagues to be located off the British mainland. The ground has been home to the club throughout its entire history. The club was founded in April 1898, joining the Southern League in 1899. The club enjoyed considerable success, reaching the First Division of the Football League in 1926-27. They were relegated to the Second Division in 1959 and to the Third in 1961, but achieved promotion at the first time of asking, only to be relegated again in 1976.
Financial difficulties forced the club to sell key players, resulting in a further relegation in 1978. Fortunes took a turn for the better, with promotion to Division Three in 1980, winning the league in 1982-83, thus regaining Second Division status. Under the guidance of Alan Ball, Portsmouth finally achieved promotion back to the top-flight in 1986-87. However, by the middle of the following season, serious financial difficulties had resurfaced, leading to immediate relegation to Division Two. The emergence of some decent young players revived the club’s fortunes in the early 1990s, with an FA Cup semi-final appearance and a narrow failure to gain promotion in 1992-93.
Pompey’s centenary (1998-9) was “celebrated” by the club going into financial administration. New chairman, Milan Mandari? invested heavily, but Portsmouth only just stayed up by the skin of their teeth. Harry Redknapp arrived as manager in 2002 and a year later Portsmouth were celebrating winning the Division One Championship and promotion to the Premier League.
Opportunities to Bet on Portsmouth
Portsmouth and the Premier League
Portsmouth have won the Football League Championship on two occasions. However, these were ages before the Premiership era, being 1949 and 1950. In their Golden Jubilee season of 1948-49, Pompey won the League Title in spectacular fashion. The same season saw their highest ever attendance of some 51,000 fans. They also reached the FA Cup semi-finals. In the following season, a 5-1 win over Aston Villa, on the final day, saw Portsmouth become one of only five teams to win consecutive titles in the post-war years.
Portsmouth have been members of the Premier League since winning the then First Division in 2003. In their first three seasons the club finished 13th, 16th, and 17th, before being bought by Alexandre Gaydamak in 2006. With financial backing allowing for record signings, the 2006-07 season saw Pompey record their first top-half Premiership finish. Their best finish of 8th place occurred in the following season. Portsmouth betting odds generally rank in the leading eight or ten in the Premiership market, Portsmouth odds usually being in the region of 500/1. Portsmouth betting indicates the layers view them as no-hopers. However, they have improved substantially in recent seasons and while the title may prove beyond them, a top-six finish is possible, with around 3/1 the Portsmouth betting odds on offer.
Portsmouth generally perform with credit at both Fratton Park and “on the road”. The only slight criticism is their lack of firepower, especially away from home. As on the less fashionable sides, the Portsmouth odds offered by the layers can be a little generous on occasions, providing value for punters betting on Portsmouth.
Domestic Cup Competitions
Portsmouth have seen FA Cup glory twice. Following two previous final defeats, they reached their third final in the 1938-39 season. They went into to match as underdogs against Wolverhampton Wanderers, but were impressive 4-1 victors with goals from Bert Barlow, Jock Anderson and a brace from Cliff Parker. With the football’s suspension during the war years, Pompey hold the unusual distinction of holding the FA Cup for the longest uninterrupted period as the trophy wasn’t contested again 1945-46.
In the Premiership era, Portsmouth reached the 2008 FA Cup final, seeing off Manchester United at Old Trafford in the quarter-finals. On the day of the 110th anniversary of the founding of the club, Portsmouth beat Championship side West Brom 1-0 on 5 April in the Wembley semi-finals. They went on to win the cup with a 1-0 win over Cardiff City. As a Premiership side, bookmakers tend to have Portsmouth odds in the top eight or ten in the FA Cup market, usually at around 25/1. A bet on Portsmouth, the current Cup holders, looks decent value at a similar price.
FA Community Shield
Portsmouth, as League Champions took on FA Cup winners, Wolverhampton Wanderers, at Highbury, in the 28th renewal of the Shield. The match finished in a 1-1 draw, the first time the Shield was shared. As 2008 FA Cup winners, they lost 1-0 to Premiership Champions, Manchester United.
Portsmouth’s 2008 FA Cup success earned them a place in the 2008-09 UEFA Cup, the club’s first venture into European football, with a first round tie against Vitoria S.C. of Portugal. This will be played over 2 legs, on 18th September and 2nd October. Being their first European qualification, it is difficult to weigh up the Portsmouth betting odds. They are evidently not fancied by the layers, but with Portsmouth odds at a working man’s price of 50/1, with VCBet, a minimum stake investment might not go amiss.