James out for Portsmouth

Asmir Begovic is set to replace injured England goalkeeper David James for Avram Grant’s first game in charge of bottom club Portsmouth – at home to champions Manchester United at Fratton Park tomorrow.

Asmir Begovic is set to replace injured England goalkeeper David James for Avram Grant’s first game in charge of bottom club Portsmouth – at home to champions Manchester United at Fratton Park tomorrow.

Grant, still officially Pompey’s director of football until paperwork arrives enabling him to be installed as successor to sacked manager Paul Hart, could stick with Jamie Ashdown but highly-rated Bosnian international Begovic was recalled from a loan spell at Ipswich earlier this week.

Veteran defender Hermann Hreidarsson is likely to keep his place after coming back from injury in the 1-0 defeat at Stoke but Grant may recall French loanee Frederic Piquionne in place of Kanu, who made his first Barclays Premier League start of the season last week.

Provisional squad: Begovic, Ben Haim, Kaboul, Wilson, Hreidarsson, Brown, Yebda, O’Hara, Boateng, Dindane, Piquionne, Kanu, Swift, Hughes, Van den Borre, Mokoena, Belhadj, Mullins, Ashdown.

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