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This Week's Opposition: AFC Wimbledon

Photo Credit: AFC Wimbledon

Consecutive 1-1 draws at Fratton Park have put Pompey’s promotion aspirations on hold, with Danny Cowley’s side having now won just 1 of their last 7 in League One. A week of cup games await, starting with the visit of AFC Wimbledon to PO4 in the Papa John’s Trophy.

All the Blues need from this tie is a point, so even a draw and a penalty shoot-out defeat would be enough to confirm a place in the next stage of the competition, with Crawley Town dropping down and out into 3rd position.

A defeat of course would mean no more trophy football for Portsmouth this season - Here’s what awaits in their third and final group stage game.

MANAGER

Ex-Charlton Athletic boss Johnnie Jackson is now in charge of The Dons, having took charge of the club back in May, following their relegation from League One.

The 40-year-old, who played as a midfielder for clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur, Colchester United and Charlton themselves, has won on 7 occasions in the dugout whilst representing Wimbledon, having managed 19 games in all competitions.

This is only Jackson’s second managerial gig, having took charge of the Addicks on a permanent basis last December, following two previous successful caretaker spells.

ONE TO WATCH

20-year-old attacking midfielder Ayoub Assal is our one to watch this time around.Ayoub Assal

The English-Moroccan youngster has been with the club since the age of 9, joining the youth academy from Millwall in 2011.

Assal made his professional debut in this competition - A 3-1 defeat to Southend United in November 2019.

This campaign, Assal has made 19 appearances in all competitions, including both trophy ties before this one.

The Wombles’ number 10 has scored 1 goal and provided 2 assists so far in the Papa John’s Trophy this season.

TOP SCORER

Johnnie Jackson brought with him from Charlton a striker who he highly rated to Plough Lane - Josh Davison signed for The Dons on a permanent deal back in July, having scored 6 goals in 35 senior appearances for the South London side.

So far this term, Davison has bagged 7 goals in 19 games across all competitions, including 1 against the Aston Villa Under-21s in the trophy on the 30th of August.

For those of you watching this game either on iFollow or in person at Fratton Park, Josh Davison will be the Dons player wearing the number 9 shirt, should of course he play.

CURRENT FORM

Johnnie Jackson inherited a deflated Wimbledon when he took over in the summer, with The Wombles having just suffered their first relegation since before the club’s demise in the early 2000s, when they relocated to Milton Keynes and reformed as a phoenix club.

Life in League Two has proved difficult for The Dons, who currently sit 15th in the table, though recent results have started to put smiles on faces at Plough Lane.

Since their last Papa John’s Trophy game against Crawley on September 20th, which ended in a 3-2 victory, Wimbledon have won 3, drawn 2 and lost 2 in the league and are now unbeaten in 3, coming from behind to defeat Harrogate Town by 3 goals to 2 at the weekend.

Back-to-back home wins in the trophy against the Aston Villa Under-21s and the aforementioned Crawley have secured The Dons’ progression to the Round of 32 - They occupy 1st place in the group with 6 points and a +2 goal difference.

Wimbledon are already through to the knockout stages of the Papa John’s Trophy but will the Blues be joining them?

All of the unmissable action on Pompey Live from 7pm on Tuesday, the 1st of November!

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