Morecambe boss Bentley: Portsmouth are title favourites

Jim Bentley.

Jim Bentley.

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Morecambe manager Jim Bentley believes his players will come up against League Two’s title favourites at the Globe Arena this evening.

Portsmouth make the trip north this evening following draws in both of their first two games this season.

The opening day saw them draw 1-1 with Carlisle United at Fratton Park, followed by a goalless game against Crewe Alexandra at the weekend.

That came just as the Shrimps were gaining their first points of the season with a 2-1 defeat of Blackpool.

Bentley said: “It was a great win; the games are going to come thick and fast.

“Portsmouth are the favourites for the division; they haven’t started as well as they would have wanted but they have great players in their ranks.

“I know Paul Cook (Portsmouth manager) very well and I speak to him very often.

“I know they have Carl Baker and Gary Roberts who shouldn’t be playing at this level.

“They have got themselves sorted out off the pitch and I hope they get it right this season; a club of that size shouldn’t be in this league.”

Last season’s matches between the sides both ended in draws; results which, on paper, do not tell the real story.

The first meeting at Fratton Park ended in a 3-3 draw after Tom Barkhuizen, Alan Goodall and Andrew Fleming had given the Shrimps a three-goal lead.

Then, in the reverse fixture, Portsmouth were 1-0 up before Shrimps keeper Barry Roche equalised following a stoppage time corner.

“To go there and take the game to them; we could have been five up at half-time,” Bentley said of the first meeting.

“It was a decent game at home as well; we found ourselves one down, chasing the game and you’ll do anything; big Baz went up there and scored the equaliser.”