Match Preview: Cheltenham vs Exeter City – Carabao Cup

Belying their relegation favourites tag, City were rampant on Saturday in a 4-0 thrashing of fellow promoted side Port Vale, and now attention turns to the EFL Cup as Matt Taylor takes his buoyant side up the M5 to Cheltenham. Taylor has indicated that he will make changes to the side in order to give some game time to those who have yet to get substantial time on the pitch as yet, so expect to see the likes of Sam Stubbs, Matt Jay, Jake Caprice and Kegs Chauke feature. Jamal Blackman came through a fitness test on Saturday and looked assured on his City debut, but Taylor may decide to let him recover more fully and play Scott Brown or Harry Lee instead.

Having defied the odds to finish comfortably in mid-table last season, it has been a somewhat turbulent pre-season for Cheltenham with the departure of Michael Duff to Barnsley. In his place has come Wade Elliott, but two defeats in two (including on Saturday to Duff’s Barnsley) have done little to dispel the Robins’ tag of predicted strugglers. In fairness, playing two of the promotion favourites probably doesn’t reflect fairly at this early stage and Cheltenham did lead Peterborough 2-0 in their opener before being pegged back. Elliott, like Taylor, may take the opportunity to freshen up his squad for this match, although ex-City youth product Liam Sercombe will be itching to play, while much will depend on the form of Alfie May up front.

The sides met last season in the EFL Trophy – City led twice through Daniel and Collins but were pegged back by Chapman and Miles before winning the penalty shoot out 3-2 to claim the bonus point. Tuesday night marks the first occasion on which the sides have met in a cup competition other than the EFL Trophy (where City won the other encounter 1-0 on their way to the semi-finals in 2019/20).

The match officials for this game will be:-

Referee: Will Finnie
Assistant Referees: Ollie Williams and Abbas Khan
Fourth Official : Samuel Ogles

Will Finnie last refereed us in the 2-0 win against Colchester United in April.

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