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Fixture News

Clarke Ready To Renew Rivalries

Defender excited by Plymouth clash

24 November 2017

Matt Clarke in action for Pompey against Bradford City at Fratton Park

There have been plenty of epic battles between Pompey and Plymouth in recent years.

From play-off clashes to title drama, it is a fixture that has provided highs and lows for both sets of supporters.

So this weekend’s meeting at Fratton Park was likely one of the first to be picked out when the schedule was released last summer.

And Matt Clarke is certainly relishing the chance to renew old rivalries with Argyle on Saturday.

The defender said: “It’s something that the fans seem to love – even if the clubs are miles and miles apart.

“And the also players enjoy competing in games like these, so we’re looking forward to it and can hopefully take the three points.

"The lads that have been here the past few years know all about that and I’m sure the new guys will soon figure it out"

Matt Clarke

“I’m sure we’ll be able to feel the atmosphere when we come out onto the pitch before kick-off and there’s perhaps a bit more to this game.

“The lads that have been here the past few years know all about that and I’m sure the new guys will soon figure it out.

“Matches have been so tight this season and we’ve seen very fine margins, so we have to make sure we stay in the game and look to score the first goal.”

Pompey are likely to be without top scorer Brett Pitman against the Pilgrims, with the striker currently recovering from a hamstring injury.

Clarke said: “It’s a blow for the squad because he’s got a large percentage of our goals and that’s what will win you games.

“If a chance is created then he always seems to be in the right place to attack it and usually puts it in the net.

“But I don’t think we have to alter things too much if he’s missing because we all train together and when people come into the team, they know what their job is.”

Clarke has been used at left-back in recent weeks, but could find himself in a more familiar central position with Christian Burgess serving a one-match ban.

He said: “I made my debut there for Ipswich, so I’ve always had confidence that I could do a job in that role and it gives me more freedom to get forward.

“It’s a positive thing to be able to play in different positions, but if we need to change things then we’ll deal with it.”


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