Pompey’s latest Papa John’s Trophy campaign begins with a trip to AFC Wimbledon in Southern Group B this evening (7.45pm kick-off).
They have a good recent record in the competition, having lifted the silverware in 2019 and then reached the final the following season.
And while league success is the number one priority, there is a Wembley appearance waiting in the distance.
Sutton and Crystal Palace U21s complete the group, with the former having beaten the latter 3-0 last week.
Tonight’s hosts have made an encouraging start to the campaign, with just one defeat from six League One fixtures.
Mark Robinson’s side have also seen off Charlton and Northampton to reach the third round of the Carabao Cup.
They now have a mouth-watering trip to Premier League giants Arsenal to look forward to in a couple of weeks.
The most recent meeting between the teams is also the only time that the Blues have appeared at the new Plough Lane.
Lee Brown bagged a brace and Ronan Curtis was also on target, as Danny Cowley’s side fought from behind to secure a 3-1 victory back in May.
In the event of tonight’s game finishing level after 90 minutes, both sides will collect a point. A penalty shoot-out will then be held, with the winners earning a bonus point.
Pompey are likely to make a number of changes, with Miguel Azeez, Gavin Bazunu, Ronan Curtis and Joe Morrell all away on international duty.
Mahlon Romeo and Louis Thompson could both make their debuts, while Jayden Reid (knee) and Liam Vincent (shin) are injured.
The hosts are without the injured defensive duo of Dan Czoka (shoulder) and Paul Osew (ankle).
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Read the thoughts of Danny Cowley ahead of the game.
HEAD TO HEAD*
Pompey: 19 wins
Wimbledon: 14 wins
Pompey: 7 wins
Wimbledon: 10 wins
*Includes matches against Wimbledon FC
Pompey fans should note that away fans will not be able to purchase tickets at Plough Lane this evening.
Fans attending the game can read a matchday guide from AFC Wimbledon by clicking here.
Referee: Darren Drysdale
Assistants: Daniel Cook and Anthony Da Costa
Fourth Official: Andy Bennett
There will be post-match reaction on the website and our official YouTube channel, with highlights to follow on Wednesday.
ALSO IN PAPA JOHN’S TROPHY
Doncaster v Rotherham (7pm)
Swindon v Arsenal U21 (7pm)
Colchester v Gillingham (7.30pm)