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Torquay United vs Portsmouth Preview
Pompey up for the Paint Trophy but does anyone really care?
Pompey begin their venture into the Johnstone's Paint Trophy tomorrow evening with a trip to Plainmoor.
Guy Whittingham has pledged to select a strong side for the match but will be without David Connolly who begins his three match ban. John Sullivan will continue in goal but Patrick Agyemang is likely to be rested, so Tom Craddock and Ryan Bird could start up front.
A year on and my feeling towards the Johnstone's Paint Trophy haven't changed. It's still a very low priority and although I am always disappointed when Pompey lose any game, the disappointment will be milder than an Indian Korma should Torquay be triumphant tomorrow.
If Pompey did make it to Wembley then it would be a good day out but you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who'd rather win tomorrow's match instead of taking three points at Cheltenham on Saturday. But it looks like the management are taking the competition seriously.
This match may be a chance for some of the fringe players to stake a claim to the first team much like Phil Smith did in the League Cup game at Bournemouth last month.
Dan Butler may well be offered a chance of redemption ater his shaky start this campaign whilst it'll be interesting to see who gets picked up front. Will Ashley Harris be given another opportunity or can Tom Craddock finally show Pompey fans what he is capable of?
Whittingham may even meddle with the formation as he still doesn't seem 100% sure on what his strongest eleven are yet. Given the low importance of this competition, now is a better time to experiment than ever.
As for the chances of a Pompey win tomorrow, who knows? Like ourselves, the Gulls haven't had the best of starts and their fans are frustrated as their team hasn't recorded a win at home yet. You know what that usually means...
I hope a strong side is selected simply for those Pompey fans who are taking the time and effort to take the long trip west for a JPT match. I suspect this will go all the way but Pompey will edge a penalty shootout.
Torquay United 1 Portsmouth 1 (Portsmouth to win on penalties)
Source: Fratton Faithful
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