Academy defender faces Villa forwards

Portsmouth manager Avram Grant handed 18-year-old academy defender Leonard Sowah his first start in this afternoon’s Premier League clash against Aston Villa at Fratton Park.

Portsmouth manager Avram Grant handed 18-year-old academy defender Leonard Sowah his first start in this afternoon’s Premier League clash against Aston Villa at Fratton Park.

David James, Aaron Mokoena, Hassan Yebda, Kanu and FA Cup semi-final hero Kevin Prince Boateng all came in but striker Frederic Piquionne did not make the match-day squad.

Villa boss Martin O’Neill opted to stick with the same team that drew 2-2 with Everton on Wednesday while Nigel Reo-Coker overcame an ankle injury to make the bench for the first time since January.

Portsmouth: James, Vanden Borre, Mokoena, Wilson, Sowah, Diop, Yebda, Brown, Boateng, Kanu, Utaka.

Subs: Ashdown, Smith, Pack, Ward, Ritchie, Ciftci.

Aston Villa: Friedel, Cuellar, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Ashley Young, Milner, Petrov, Downing, Carew, Agbonlahor.

Subs: Guzan, Sidwell, Delfouneso, Heskey, Reo-Coker, Beye, Clark.

Referee: Lee Probert.

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