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Match Previews

Wembley Preview: Pompey v Salford

All you need to know about EFL Trophy final

12 March 2021

Pompey v Salford City

The excited walk down Wembley way, the clamour to your seat and the hugging of complete strangers when Pompey find the net.

All of that will, unfortunately, be missing when the Blues make their latest trip to the national stadium on Saturday.

The Covid-19 pandemic means that an event that has already been pushed back a year will have to take place behind closed doors.

In fact, the Papa John’s Trophy final was not even called that when Kenny Jackett’s side were supposed to play it.

An incredible total of more than 50,000 tickets had been snapped up by Pompey fans for the clash with Salford, but they will now have to watch the action on television.

And those armchair followers are hoping their side can put their stuttering league form to one side to retain the silverware memorably claimed in 2019.

The men from Fratton Park beat Sunderland on penalties to lift the trophy and have held it for almost two years.

So they will be looking to extend that for an extra day, with this season’s final – between the Black Cats and Tranmere – taking place at the same venue on Sunday.

But the Blues will have to see off a Salford side who have enjoyed an incredible rise up the divisions in recent years.

They only entered the EFL for the first time in 2019, helped by the backing of the famous ‘Class of 92’ – namely David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes.

Richie Wellens’ side are currently sitting 9th in League Two and are four points adrift of the play-off spots.

Neither side are in the best form at the moment, with the Ammies having won just one of their past six fixtures.

But both will have Wembley glory on their minds as the clubs prepare for their first competitive meeting at arguably the world’s most famous football stadium. Albeit a mostly empty one.

In the event of a draw after 90 minutes, the tie will be decided by extra-time and, if required, penalties.

TEAM NEWS
Andy Cannon is a major doubt after injuring his hamstring earlier in the week, while Alex Bass (foot) and Callum Johnson (calf) are definitely missing.

Everyone else is available to feature, with the EFL confirming that players signed this season can still take part in last term’s final.

Salford will be without former Republic of Ireland international Darron Gibson, who continues his recovery from a broken leg.

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

HEAD TO HEAD
There have been no previous competitive meetings between Pompey and Salford.

OFFICIALS
Referee: Carl Boyeson
Assistants: Michael Webb and Craig Taylor
Fourth Official: Trevor Kettle

MATCH COVERAGE
Supporters in the UK can watch the contest live on Sky Sports Football. If you are based overseas then please check local listings to see if the game is being shown in your region.

Papa John
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The game cannot be viewed on iFollow, but subscribers can listen to live commentary from Andrew Moon and Guy Whittingham by signing into their account and visiting the match centre from 2pm.

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 Sunday.

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

BETTING
Pompey are the 10/11 favourites with VBET to secure victory, while their opponents can be backed at 3/1.

Click here to find a comprehensive list of odds for this evening's game. 18+. Be Gamble Aware.

SATURDAY’S LEAGUE ONE FIXTURES
Games kick-off at 3pm unless stated

Swindon v Gillingham (1pm)
Blackpool v Fleetwood
Bristol Rovers v AFC Wimbledon
Charlton v Shrewsbury
Crewe v Burton
Doncaster v Northampton
Hull v Oxford
Ipswich v Plymouth
Lincoln v Rochdale
MK Dons v Accrington

WEMBLEY MAGIC


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