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5 signings headline Portsmouth’s opening day XI; featuring 15-goal star striker

Portsmouth are set to embark upon their sixth consecutive campaign in League One and the 2022-23 season will be Danny Cowley’s second full season at…

The post 5 signings headline Portsmouth’s opening day XI; featuring 15-goal star striker appeared first on HITC.

Portsmouth are set to embark upon their sixth consecutive campaign in League One and the 2022-23 season will be Danny Cowley’s second full season at the helm.

The former Huddersfield Town manager secured a tenth-place finish in his first full season at Fratton Park.

Pompey’s 10th place finish may have been their lowest since returning to the third tier of English football but their 73 points return was an improvement on the previous two campaigns.

Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

Portsmouth finished 10 points outside the play-offs and Cowley will no doubt be targeting a higher finish with the new League One campaign drawing ever nearer.

Cowley’s side start the new season with a difficult trip to last season’s play-off semi-finalists Sheffield Wednesday.

Ladunblog Sport takes a look at how Portsmouth could line-up for the clash against the Owls.

How Portsmouth could line-up on opening day of 2022-23 League One

Gavin Bazunu impressed during his season-long loan spell from Manchester City and the Republic of Ireland international’s performances for the Hampshire-based side saw him secure a move to Southampton this summer.

Tasked with filling the void the 20-year-old has left behind, Pompey have signed goalkeepers Josh Griffiths and Joshua Oluwayemi.

Griffiths will likely start the season as Pompey’s number one given his prior experience gained while on loan at Cheltenham Town and Cowley’s former club Lincoln City.

Photo by Andrew Vaughan – CameraSport via Getty Images

Former Tottenham man Oluwayemi has only played one match at senior level and that came with Maidenhead United.

The former Premier League side have also signed two new right-backs with Joe Rafferty and Zak Swanson set to compete for the starting berth.

Both players are at different stages of their careers, Rafferty arrives at Fratton Park from Preston North End with over 250 Football League appearances under his belt.

While 21-year-old Swanson arrives from Arsenal’s academy having not made his first-team debut for the Gunners. Rafferty’s experience could give him the nudge although Cowley is more than willing to place his trust in youth.

Photo by Dave Howarth – CameraSport via Getty Images

With Rafferty potentially being the only new face in defence, the right-back could join Sean Raggett, Clark Robertson and Connor Ogilvie in Pompey’s backline.

With Wales international Joe Worrall likely to miss the start of the season with a groin injury, former Manchester United youngster Ryan Tunnicliffe could partner Marlon Pack in midfield.

Pack arrives at Fratton Park after three seasons with Cardiff City and the 31-year-old brings with him a wealth of experience and quality in the engine room.

Photo by Rich Linley – CameraSport via Getty Images

Following Marcus Harness’ departure to Ipswich Town, who scored 11 goals and laid on six assists last season, an opportunity to make the right-wing position his own could present itself to Reeco Hackett.

Hackett scored four goals last season and after impressing in pre-season he could make himself a regular under Cowley if he starts the season strongly.

Republic of Ireland international Ronan Curtis will likely continue to operate from the left and cut inside onto his right foot.

From 190 matches for Pompey, the 26-year-old has scored 50 goals and provided 39 assists, averaging nearly a goal involvement in every other game.

Photo by Chris Vaughan – CameraSport via Getty Images

Joe Pigott has joined Portsmouth on a season-long loan from Ipswich and he’ll be hoping to rekindle the form that saw him score 20 goals in League One for AFC Wimbledon in 2020-21.

Portsmouth are hoping to re-sign George Hirst from Leicester City and the striker wasn’t included in the Foxes’ 31-man travelling squad that headed for a pre-season training camp in France.

Fellow League One sides Ipswich and Barnsley are also keen to sign the 23-year-old, but after scoring 15 goals for Cowley last season, Hirst could well favour a return to Fratton Park.

Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

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