City’s unbeaten start to the season continued with a decent performance in drawing 0-0 with fancied Blackpool, and attention turns to a Tuesday night encounter that the powers that be at Sky have deemed worthy of their coverage. Any changes that Gary Caldwell makes are likely to be with freshness and two away trips in four days in mind, so the likes of Zak Jules, Vincent Harper and James Scott may be given starts. Elsewhere the news around Harry Kite is that he needs surgery, with Caldwell suggesting it will be 6-8 weeks before he’s ready to return.
Like City, Portsmouth have drawn their home game and won their away fixture in the league while defeating League Two opposition in the EFL Cup to also go into Tuesday night unbeaten. Despite a 4-0 drubbing of Leyton Orient at the weekend, manager John Mousinho wasn’t completely pleased especially with Pompey’s first half display. Mousinho was particularly busy during the window with a number of signings including players of pedigree such as Anthony Scully, Regan Poole and keeper Will Norris. Another summer signing was Kusimi Yengi, who has scored off the bench in both league fixtures and also scored twice at Forest Green in the EFL Cup. Eyebrows were raised amongst City supporters, however, with the signing of Jack Sparkes – having struggled to get into the side following the signing of Demitri Mitchell, when Sparkes left City in the summer it was possibly expected that he may drop a level or two in order to gain regular first team action, so to see him make a move to a club of higher stature was a surprise. He is bound to get a good reception from the away support should be play (unless he scores!).
Although there was less than a month between the fixtures last season due to the quirks of the fixture computer, City came up against two different managers – the Boxing Day fixture against a Portsmouth side managed by the Cowley brothers was an entertaining 0-0 draw. By the time City returned in late January, however, the Cowleys were gone and Mousinho crowned his first game in charge by winning 2-0 through Marlon Pack and Joe Morrell. That win extended Pompey’s league head to head lead over City to 13-4, with nine draws.
The match officials for this game will be:-
Referee: Tom Reeves
Assistant Referees: Daniel Cook and Paul Kelly
Fourth Official : David Rock
The last time Tom Reeves refereed Exeter City was last November when City beat Peterborough at St James Park 3-2.
Pre-match interview with Reece Cole