Pompey doubtful over Diarra, Hughes

Portsmouth are almost certain to be without midfielders Lassana Diarra and Richard Hughes for tomorrow’s Barclays Premier League trip to Aston Villa.

Diarra has been troubled by a knee injury and Hughes has a groin problem, while Niko Kranjcar (ankle) is still at least two weeks away from a return.

Papa Bouba Diop will switch from the right to his preferred central midfield role, leaving fit-again John Utaka and Glen Little to contest the wide position.

Younes Kaboul, who injured his back playing for France Under-21s in midweek is also likely to be unavailable but Sean Davis is expected to feature despite suffering back-spasms during training.

Provisional squad: James, Johnson, Campbell, Distin, Belhadj, Utaka, Little, Davis, Diop, A Traore, Crouch, Defoe, Kanu, Pamarot, Hreidarsson, Mvuemba, Thomas, Sahar, Lauren, Ashdown.

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