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Papa Johns Trophy

Papa Johns Trophy: Five things to look out for in the knockout stages

21 November 2022

As the Papa Johns Trophy knockout stages begin this week, here are five things to look out for as the road to Wembley continues.

Attendance Records

Record attendances were seen for the opening round of fixtures in the competition since the revised format began in 2016/17. On top of that there were record attendances for the whole Group Stage since its inception. 

With the knockout fixtures starting, expect to see more high attendances and records broken.

Young Gunner Firing

Nathan Butler-Oyedeji was voted the standout player of the Group Stages, with three goals and one assist to his name. The Young Gunner stood out as Arsenal Under-21s reached the knockout stages again this year after making it to the Quarter-Finals in last season's competition.

Arsenal U21s face Stevenage on Tuesday night in the hope of going one step further this year. 

Who will maintain their 100% record?

Just four teams advanced to the knockout stages with 100% records in the competition. 

In-form League Two side Stevenage have won each of their games so far in the competition and will no doubt be ones to watch as Steve Evans' side have conceded just one goal in the competition so far. 

Forest Green Rovers, Burton Albion and Port Vale are the other three sides to have taken maximum points from the Group Stages, with Port Vale yet to concede a goal in the competition this season, keeping clean sheets in each of their games.

Race for the Golden Boot?

Eight players finished joint-top scorers after the Group Stages with three goals each. Of those eight, six have progressed to the knock-out fixtures; Nathan Butler-Oyedeji (Arsenal U21s), Thomas Cannon (Everton U21s), Charlie McNeil (Manchester United U21s), Stanley Mills (Everton U21s), Denis Politic (Port Vale) and Kieran Sadlier (Bolton Wanderers).

League One giants go head-to-head

Two huge Clubs go head-to-head on Tuesday night as Ipswich Town welcome 2019 winners Portsmouth to Portman Road.  

Ipswich topped their group and have their eyes on promotion from League One as they currently sit second in the table, with Portsmouth finishing second in their group and also pushing for promotion from League One. 

Ipswich have never won the competition but will be hoping that Freddie Lapado, who won the title last year with Rotherham United and has two goals in the competition this season, can help spur them on to victory. 

Round of 32 Fixtures: 

Northern Section
Bolton Wanderers v Barrow
Everton U21 v Mansfield Town
Salford City v Bradford City
Port Vale v Barnsley
Manchester United U21 v Wolverhampton Wanderers U21
Grimsby Town v Accrington Stanley
Burton Albion v Tranmere Rovers
Lincoln City v Morecambe

Southern Section
Colchester United v Bristol Rovers
Stevenage v Arsenal U21
AFC Wimbledon v Sutton United
MK Dons v Newport County
Ipswich Town v Portsmouth
Forest Green Rovers v Cheltenham Town
Plymouth Argyle v Charlton Athletic
Chelsea U21 v Peterborough United

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