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Match Previews

Preview: Portsmouth

8 December 2020

Match Previews

Preview: Portsmouth

8 December 2020

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A Portsmouth side who currently sit fourth in League One and who are the reigning Papa John's Trophy winners are the challenge for Cheltenham Town this evening (kick-off: 7pm).

Having successfully navigated the way through the group stage of this season's competition as the only team out of all 64 entrants not to concede a goal, a second round knockout clash with Pompey will prove to be a difficult test for the Robins as the fans once again return to the Jonny-Rocks Stadium tonight.

There will be a limited number inside the ground as tickets have gone on general sale for the game.

If you are attending please familiarise yourself with the matchday information you need to know ahead of heading to the stadium this evening.

Team news

A number of injuries will force Michael Duff to shuffle his pack when picking his team.

Sean Long, Charlie Raglan, Conor Thomas, Chris Clements, Liam Sercombe and Callum Ebanks are all missing for the game with knocks.

Grant Horton, Alex Addai and Tahvon Campbell meanwhile are out on loan so can't play.

Check out Michael Duff's pre-match press conference as he previewed Tuesday's game.


To have progressed into the knockout stages of this season's competition is of little surprise for a Portsmouth team whose recent record in the Papa John's Trophy is exceptional.

In 2019 they won the competition at Wembley and at some point this season they'll get the chance to defend the title again as they face up to Salford City in the delayed 2020 final.

To get to this stage they came second in Group A, finishing behind West Ham United under-21s, and ahead of Colchester United and Southend United.

Led by the highly experienced Kenny Jackett, the Watford legend has said he will play a young team in this evening's fixture and expects to make changes from the side that produced an impressive victory over promotion rivals Peterborough United on the weekend - a result that sees Pompey sit in 4th position in League One.

In their previous game in the competition academy product Alex Bass lined up in goal, while their defensive line-up included 18-year-old Haji Mnoga and Wales youth international Harvey Rew.

Further up the pitch in midfield there were more young players involved with Charlie Bell, another from their academy, in the line-up against the young Hammers.

Up top Jordy Hiwula featured. The 26-year-old can name Huddersfield Town and Coventry City among his former sides having arrived at Pompey in October, scoring his first goal for the Fratton Park outfit in their FA Cup mauling of King's Lynn Town in late November.

Manager: Kenny Jackett

Former Wales international Kenny Jackett in his playing days was a defender or midfielder who spent the entireity of his career at Watford, representing the Hornets over 350 times.

Upon ending his playing days with his hometown club he became manager, and was in charge for a year in the late nineties before going on to act as assistant to Ian Holloway at QPR.

He returned to management as the boss of Swansea City and has since then had spells in charge at Millwall, Wolves, Rotherham and since 2017, Pompey.

He has a fantastic record of winning the Papa John's Trophy having achieved the feat with Swansea and Portsmouth and has the chance to do it again when they face up to Salford in the final soon.

He's also previously achieved promotions with Wolves and Millwall in his days in the dugout.

Watch on iFollow

If you are not at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium for the game you can still watch what happens by checking the full 90 minutes out on iFollow.

Match passes for the fixture are available to buy online at a cost of £10.

Match programme

There is a 12 page print and digital programme available to purchase for the game.

The big interview is with goalkeeper Scott Flinders with the experienced shot-stopper discussing the mental side to returning to playing, his impressive thoughts on fellow 'keeper Josh Griffiths and how important loan football is for a player in his position - as he knows from earlier on in his career.

There's also the latest thoughts of Michael Duff, a look at the night's opposition and also a review of how they've reached this stage of the competition this season themselves.

The programme is available to buy online for £1.50 in print, £1 for a digital download and from the pop up shop in the main bar this evening for £1.50.


There are tickets available on general sale for Tuesday's contest up until 4.30pm on the day of the game.

These can be bought online or in person from the ticket office.

You cannot buy on the night - all tickets must be purchased in advance. The ticket office will be open for ticket collections but please leave plenty of time to do this, please socially distance when queuing and wear a face covering.


Keep an eye on Twitter and follow @CTFCofficial for regular updates, team news, photos and goal information. You can also visit the CTFC Facebook page and Instagram account for goal updates.

Post-match check out the club website and read a match report on the whistle, while you'll also be able to watch reaction from inside the camp to the final score.

Extended highlights will also be available to watch looking back on the tie on iFollow.

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