This evening sees Portsmouth, take on League 2 Crawley Town, in the first game of their defence of the previously named Checkatrade trophy.
On paper, this looks a routine home win for Portsmouth, who though they have faltered in recent weeks, thanks to a stop start season, for one reason or another, seem to have steadied their ship slightly and altered their formation from last seasons 4-2-3-1 to a more attacking 4-3-3 formation
Solid, but careful summer recuritment has seen James Bolton arrive from Shrewsbury Town, Ryan Williams, previously a player at Fratton Park, return to the club, along with John Marquis, the hot shot striker better known for playing for Doncaster Rovers last season, who is also returning to the club
Also, added to the ranks is Ross McCrorie, on a season long loan from Rangers in Scotland and Sean Raggett, who is better know for playing for Lincoln City and rose to fame during their epic cup run, which included Raggett, scoring the goal, which knocked Burnley out of the FA Cup a couple of seasons ago.
Fratton Park, while not expected to be full, will be rocking with the Fratton Faithful making their usual noise as the teams 12th man to roar them over the line.
Both teams know each other well, having played each other in the same competition last season and also in pre-season as well.
It is the third year in a row that the sides have met in this stage of the competition – and the Blues won both of the previous meetings.
A 3-1 victory in Hampshire in October 2017 was followed by last season’s 1-0 success in West Sussex, courtesy of Dion Donohue’s strike.
Portsmouth Team News
Both Oli Hawkins and Ryan Williams are unlikely to feature after recently returning to full training, while Marcus Harness (thigh), Bryn Morris (groin) and long term absentee Jack Whatmough (knee) are injured.
Ronan Curtis (Republic of Ireland), Craig MacGillivray (Scotland) and Ross McCrorie (Scotland U21) are away on international duty.
Defender, Joe McNerney (back) is currently sidelined for the visitors, who otherwise have a clean bill of health.
Boast a good strong side and currently sit 8th in the League 2 table, so the game should be entertaining. They have lost just 2 of their opening 6 matches.
In the last 24 hours they have terminated the contract of striker, Dominic Poleon, so he can join Newport County and have signed Jamie Sendles White, who used to play for Swindon Town.
It promises to be a close game with Portsmouth expected to edge the game.