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Match Previews

Match Preview: Cheltenham v Pompey

All you need to know about Papa John’s Trophy tie

8 December 2020

Cheltenham Town v Pompey

The relentless run of league fixtures takes a breather, as the Papa John’s Trophy takes centre stage this evening.

Pompey head to Whaddon Road to face League Two side Cheltenham (7pm kick-off) for a place in the third round.

It is the hosts who were seeded for the draw, however, after topping Southern Group F, ahead of Norwich’s youngsters.

They won all three of their fixtures – which also included games against Plymouth and Newport – and did not concede a single goal in the process.

Like the Blues, however, their priority will be promotion, with the Robins currently sitting second in the fourth tier standings following a thrilling 5-3 victory over Exeter at the weekend.

Fans will be hoping for a better finish than last term, when they let slip a two-goal lead from the first leg of the play-offs to suffer an aggregate defeat to Northampton.

Cheltenham have never previously lifted the EFL Trophy – in any of its guises – while Pompey are, of course, the current holders and are still waiting to play last term’s final.

The hosts are also yet to enjoy a competitive win against the Blues, although five of the previous six meetings finished all square.

And the exception to that was certainly a memorable affair, with a 6-1 triumph at Fratton Park on the final day of the 2016/17 campaign sealing the League Two title for Paul Cook’s men.

In the event of a draw after 90 minutes this evening, the tie will be decided by a penalty shoot-out.

TEAM NEWS
Pompey will make 11 changes from the side that beat Peterborough in the league on Saturday, with some youngsters set to be given a chance to impress.

Michael Jacobs has returned to training following a knee ligament injury, but this evening’s game comes too soon for the midfielder.

Cheltenham are also likely to freshen things up, with their manager Michael Duff revealing that several members of his squad are carrying knocks.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Read the thoughts of Kenny Jackett ahead of the game.

HEAD TO HEAD
Overall
Pompey: 1 win
Cheltenham: 0 wins
5 draws

At Whaddon Road
Pompey: 0 wins
Cheltenham: 0 wins
3 draws

OFFICIALS
Referee: Kevin Johnson
Assistants: John Flynn and Christopher Husband
Fourth Official: Christopher Kidd

MATCH COVERAGE
Supporters in the UK can watch the action live – with graphics, commentary and replays – by purchasing a match pass for £10.

Subscribers will, as usual, be able to listen to listen to live commentary from Andy Moon and Guy Whittingham by signing into their account and visiting the match centre from 6pm.

Please note that subscribers based in the UK and Ireland will still need to purchase a match pass in order to watch the game live.

Click here for more information about using iFollow on a matchday and click here for information on downloading the app, so you can access content on your mobile device.

We will have updates throughout the game on Twitter and the match centre. You can also see behind-the-scenes content on our Instagram story.

There will be post-match reaction on the website and our official YouTube channel, with highlights to follow on Wednesday.

Local listeners can hear commentary by tuning in to either Express FM or BBC Radio Solent.

BETTING
Pompey are the 8/11 favourites with Sky Bet to progress to round three, while the hosts can be backed at evens.

Click here to find a comprehensive list of odds for this evening's game. Please gamble responsibly.

ALSO IN PAPA JOHN’S TROPHY
Games kick-off at 7pm unless stated

Hull v Crewe (5.30pm)
AFC Wimbledon v Arsenal U21 (6pm)
Oldham v Sunderland (6pm)
Accrington v Manchester United U21
Exeter v Northampton
Leyton Orient v Bristol Rovers
Peterborough v West Ham U21
Port Vale v Wolves U21
Salford v Leicester U21
Shrewsbury v Lincoln
Cambridge v Gillingham U21 (7.45pm)
Fleetwood v Blackpool (7.45pm)
MK Dons v Norwich U21 (7.45pm)
Oxford v Forest Green (7.45pm)
Tranmere v Manchester City U21 (7.45pm)

LAST MEETING


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