With City undergoing a tough examination before ultimately emerging victorious again at Grimsby, a midweek EFL Trophy match will be something of a distraction although with the competition now just two rounds away from a Wembley showpiece Matt Taylor will be hoping to continue his side’s momentum. Brennan Dickenson made an assured debut on Saturday but he will be missing having played for MK Dons in the competition this season. Nigel Atangana’s suspension doesn’t apply to this competition so, like against Ipswich in the previous round he will be available to face Stevenage. Elsewhere Taylor will probably make a few changes to give some of his senior players a rest while giving his fringe players some valuable match time e.g. Ajose, Matt Jay and Joel Randall.
The form in this competition of Stevenage, once again under the management of the enigmatic Graham Westley, has been in stark contrast to their league form which has seen them embroiled in a relegation dogfight – albeit with signs of improvement following a 4-0 demolition of Cambridge on Saturday. Having qualified for the knockout stages by beating Wycombe and winning on penalties against Fulham U21, Boro have recorded impressive wins at Colchester and Bristol Rovers on their way to this stage. Jason Cowley appears to be their go to man in this competition – two goals all season in the league but three so far in the EFL Trophy.
Tuesday night’s match represents the first EFL Trophy clash between the sides, although they have been paired up twice in the FA Cup, recording one win each. Back in August City travelled to Hertfordshire in the league and a last gasp Nicky Law goal sealed the points.