TROPHY PREVIEW: Wanderers v Portsmouth

Wanderers hit the Trophy trail again as they look to put themselves within one more win of Wembley.

The Whites face League One rivals Portsmouth in the quarter-finals of the Papa Johns Trophy in the first of two meetings between the clubs in five days at the University of Bolton Stadium.

The winners will advance to the last four as Wanderers seek to keep alive hopes of a first trip to Wembley since 2011 and a chance to win the competition for the first time since 1989.

Portsmouth, currently without a permanent manager following last week’s departure of Danny Cowley, lifted the Trophy in 2018/19 before reach the final again 12 months later.

Manager quotes:

Ian Evatt: “It’s opposition that’s hard to prepare for with a change of management and a caretaker with the one game in charge being against Tottenham.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t got Son and Kane, so it’s a bit easier for them to prepare for!

“But we’re looking forward to it and, again, hopefully concentrating on a good performance.

“We have a really good squad of players. We may decide to freshen things up in one or two areas but there won’t be wholesale changes. We will be prepared and ready to play.

“What we’ve done over the Christmas period has been pretty good and they know whoever comes into the team will have to hit the ground running.

“We’re excited by that and hopefully another good performance will put us one step closer to Wembley.”

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Portsmouth interim head coach Simon Bassey:

“Every game is different and you have to be adaptable, but I want us to be aggressive and hard-working.

“We have to give ourselves the best chance of winning and everything my players have got, I want to see it. We’ll see where that takes us.

“There aren’t a load of players available at the moment, so we’ll go as strong as we can, although there will be some freshening up.

“It would be a brilliant occasion if Pompey could get back there (to Wembley).

“But Bolton are a really strong team and have recruited well. They’re in good form and I’m expecting a competitive match.”

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Team news:

Wanderers’ captain Ricardo Almeida Santos is set to return to the match-day squad after stepping up his comeback with a full training session with the B Team on Saturday rather than a place on the substitutes’ bench against Plymouth.

The defender could feature for the first time since the Whites’ win over Barrow in the Trophy in November following his recovery from illness.

New loan signing Dan Nlundulu is unavailable to Wanderers after playing in the competition for Cheltenham earlier this season.

Forward Dapo Afolayan’s three-match ban for his retrospective red card at Lincoln doesn’t apply to the Trophy.

Wing-back Jack Iredale is out with the knee injury which is set to keep him sidelined for a number of weeks.

New Portsmouth signing Ryley Towler is cup-tied from a loan spell at AFC Wimbledon and unavailable for a debut following the defender’s arrival from Bristol City.

Midfielder Louis Thompson returned from a lengthy lay-off with a broken leg as a substitute at Tottenham in the FA Cup on Saturday and could feature again as acting boss Simon Bassey contemplates a few changes.

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Form guide:

Wanderers have lost just one of their last 11 games in all competitions since their FA Cup exit to Barnsley at the start of November.

After topping their group in the Papa Johns Trophy, the Whites have since knocked out Barrow and Manchester United’s U21s to reach the last eight.

A 4-0 win over United’s youngsters last month kicked off Wanderers’ current unbeaten six-match sequence and a run of five clean sheets in their last six games.

Portsmouth went out of the FA Cup with a 1-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday and have won one of their last seven games – a 3-0 victory over Stevenage in the Papa Johns Trophy to set up tonight’s trip to Wanderers.

Pompey previously knocked out Ipswich Town at Portman Road after progressing through the group stages with a win and two draws.


Referee: Robert Madden

Assistant referees: Joe Simpson and Graeme Fyvie

Fourth official: Benjamin Speedie


Tuesday 7.45pm


Reduced priced tickets are available to buy, with details HERE


The game is available to watch live on iFollow with a £10 matchday video pass available HERE

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