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Portsmouth secured their spot in the second round of the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Harrow Borough, with a first-half effort from Marcus Harness proving to be the difference between the two teams at Fratton Park.
Danny Cowley‘s side are now unbeaten in their last four matches in all competitions, also picking up five points from their last three league matches against Accrington Stanley, Bolton Wanderers and Cheltenham Town.
There is no question that it has been a tough period for the club, and they are currently down in 14th spot in the League One table, seven points off the playoff positions.
Pompey have a huge match away to high-flying Wycombe Wanderers next weekend, and it would be fair to say that contest is much more important than Tuesday’s EFL Trophy fixture.
Indeed, Cowley’s team have already been eliminated from this season’s competition, having lost their opening two matches in Southern Group B against AFC Wimbledon and Sutton United.
Palace Under-21s, though, still have a chance of reaching the knockout round of the tournament, with a total of three points from two matches leaving them in third spot in the table, level with second-placed Wimbledon.
The Eagles will need to beat Portsmouth on Tuesday and hope that Wimbledon drop points against Sutton in order to sneak into second position.
Patrick McCarthy‘s side were beaten 3-0 by Sutton in their first match of the section at the end of August, but they ran out 2-0 winners at Wimbledon last time out, with Jesuran Rak-Sakyi and Robert Street scoring the goals for the capital outfit.
Portsmouth boss Cowley will ring the changes from the FA Cup clash with Harrow on Saturday, and a number of academy players will be hoping to make the squad for this contest.
Gassan Yahyai, Louis Thompson, Reece Hackett-Fairchild and Michael Jacobs all came off the bench at the weekend, and the quartet are likely to come into the starting XI for this match.
There is also expected to be a change between the sticks for the League One outfit, with Alexander Bass in line to take the place of Gavin Bazunu.
As for Palace Under-21s, it would not be a surprise to see the same XI that started the two-goal victory over Wimbledon last time out.
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Rak-Sakyi and Street were both on the scoresheet in the team’s last group game and will again feature in attack, with David Omilabu also in line to start, while there should also be a spot in the middle of the park for Malachi Boateng.
Portsmouth possible starting lineup:
Bass; Downing, Raggett, Brown; Romeo, Mnoga, Thompson, Hackett-Fairchild; Hirst, Jacobs, Yahyai
Crystal Palace Under-21s possible starting lineup:
Whitworth; Robertson, O’Brien, Rich-Baghuelou, Adaramola; Wells-Morrison, Boateng, Kirby; Rak-Sakyi, Street, Omilabu