It is a knockout contest between two sides who know that one of football’s biggest prizes is drawing ever closer.
No, forget about tonight’s World Cup contest between Argentina and Croatia, there is a much more important fixture taking place on Portsea Island.
Pompey host League Two side Stevenage in the Papa Johns Trophy this evening (7pm kick-off), with the victors just two more wins away from a trip to Wembley.
After finishing as runners-up in Southern Group B, Danny Cowley’s men saw off Ipswich last month to reach this stage of the competition.
Their next opponents topped their own pool with a 100 per cent record – finishing above League One sides Peterborough and Wycombe in the process.
Boro then beat Arsenal’s under-21s 3-2 on home soil, courtesy of goals from David Amoo, Dan Sweeney and Arthur Read.
They also made it through to round three of the Carabao Cup and only exited to Charlton on penalties.
Meanwhile, successes over non-league Gateshead and King’s Lynn mean the Hertfordshire outfit have an FA Cup trip to Aston Villa to look forward to in the new year.
Securing promotion will be the ultimate aim, however, and Stevenage are sitting comfortably in second spot, with a huge 10-point gap over Barrow, who lead the play-off pack.
In the event of a draw after 90 minutes, tonight’s tie will be settled by a penalty shoot-out.
Danny Cowley is hoping to have some of his injured party available again, with Michael Jacobs (hamstring) nearest to being available.
Tom Lowery (hamstring) and Louis Thompson (leg) are back on the grass, but this game could come too soon.
The are also doubts over Kieron Freeman (calf) and Zak Swanson (stomach), while Joe Rafferty (stomach) and Jayden Reid (knee) remain sidelined.
Stevenage boss Steve Evans has intimated that he will make numerous changes from the side that drew with Mansfield in the league at the weekend.
HEAD TO HEAD
Pompey: 4 wins
Stevenage: 5 wins
At Fratton Park
Pompey: 1 win
Stevenage: 1 win
Referee: Neil Hair
Assistants: Daniel Flynn and Adrian Tranter
Fourth Official: Sunny Gill
Pompey fans can secure tickets in the South Stand online here or by visiting the Anson Road ticket office.
They will also be available from the booth behind the Fratton End this evening.
If you are travelling to the game, please be aware of the rail strikes that are taking place around the country.
Please note that no programme has been produced for this fixture and the Victory Bar will be closed. Kiosks 11 and 15 are open for fans to purchase refreshments.
Domestic iFollow subscribers can also enjoy audio commentary from Andrew Moon and Mark Kelly as usual, but will need to purchase a match pass if they want to watch the game.
There will be post-match reaction on the website and our official YouTube channel, with highlights to follow on Wednesday.
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ALSO IN PAPA JOHNS TROPHY
Games kick-off at 7pm unless stated
Burton v Accrington
Cheltenham v Chelsea U21
Lincoln v Everton U21
Bristol Rovers v MK Dons (7.30pm)
Bolton v Manchester United U21 (7.45pm)