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Oxford United vs Portsmouth Preview
Can Pompey progress in the Paint Trophy?
Pompey will make their first ever trip to the Kassam Stadium tomorrow evening to take on Oxford United in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
Yassin Moutaouakil returns from suspension and Danny East may return to the squad after a knock caused him to miss out on Saturday. David Connolly and Simon Ferry are still suffering calf and hamstring injuries respectively and will miss out.
Andrew Whing serves the last of his three match ban for the U's whilst Jake Wright and Jon Meades are still sidelined. James Constable may start the game having eased his way back into the team from the bench.
Despite Pompey's win on Saturday, there'll be a fair few Pompey fans who will believe that this competition represents their best chance of seeing their team at Wembley this season.
The Johnstone's Paint Trophy is barely taken seriously but the opportunity to appear at the national stadium for the sixth time and the added incentive to take a bit of revenge on Oxford for their opening day thrashing means that this game should be given some sort of importance.
The U's do not have the best home record and lost 2-0 to Southend on Saturday so Guy Whittingham may fancy his chances on building on the 3-0 thrashing of Rochdale, but how many changes does he make with Plymouth on Saturday in mind?
One of management's golden rules is to never change a winning team if it can be helped but he may leave Patrick Agyemang out to preserve his fitness for the trip to Home Park. That means Tom Craddock should get the chance to finally make a name for himself against his former employers.
Agyemang aside, there is no need to change a team that won its pride back on Saturday. If the same level of endeavour is produced tomorrow night then there's no reason why Portsmouth won't make it to the next round of this competition.
Then maybe, just maybe, Pompey fans might care a little bit about it.
So long as Whittingham plays a similar side to the one that easily defeated Rochdale then there's a good chance of progression but Oxford have already shown us that they are difficult opposition. Here's hoping Kitson doesn't score...
Oxford United 1 Portsmouth 1 (Portsmouth to win on penalties)
Source: Fratton Faithful
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