The Papa John’s Trophy returns this week and takes centre stage for Round Two of the competition.
Of the 32 teams left in the competition, 16 will be looking to make it one step closer to Wembley by picking up a victory, and there’s some tasty ties to look forward to.
Starting on Tuesday night, Fleetwood Town will make the short trip to the University of Bolton Stadium to face Bolton Wanderers. The Cod Army began their post-Simon Grayson era over the weekend by picking up a valuable point in Sky Bet League One at AFC Wimbledon and will be looking to capitalise on that by progressing to Round Three of the Papa John’s Trophy. However, overcoming Bolton will be no easy feat, with The Trotters having topped their group in the Papa John’s Trophy with three wins out of three.
Elsewhere, Port Vale travel to League One table toppers Rotherham United for what looks set to be an entertaining game at the AESSEAL New York Stadium, with the Millers and the Valiants both picking up high-scoring victories already this season in the competition, bagging 5-0 and 6-0 wins respectively against Manchester City Under-21s and Liverpool Under-21s.
Other ties taking place on Tuesday evening include Lincoln City’s trip to face Carlisle United, whilst Wigan Athletic travel to Accrington Stanley, and completing the Northern selection of ties, Harrogate Town lock horns with Tranmere Rovers.
In the Southern section of the competition, Aston Villa Under-21s take on Charlton Athletic at The Valley, Forest Green Rovers host Chelsea Under-21s, Kenny Jacket’s Leyton Orient entertain Milton Keynes Dons, Sutton United take on Stevenage in their first-ever Papa John’s Trophy Round Two match and to round off Tuesday’s schedule, Colchester United travel to Wiltshire to face Swindon Town.
A standout tie on Wednesday evening takes place at the Stadium of Light, where defending champions winners Sunderland take on the second-bottom team in the Sky Bet League Two, Oldham Athletic. After Nathan Broadhead’s superb strike earned the Black Cats a victory over the weekend away at Cambridge United, Lee Johnson’s men will be looking to keep that momentum going.
Other games in the Northern section of the competition on Wednesday evening see Hartlepool United travel to Hillsborough to face Sheffield Wednesday and Crewe Alexandra host Doncaster Rovers.
The only tie taking place in the Southern section of the Papa John’s Trophy on Wednesday night takes place at Portman Road where Ipswich Town welcome Arsenal Under-21s.