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Papa Johns Trophy quarter-final preview: Big hitters trained on Trophy success

Two former winners in Bolton and Portsmouth face off while west country rivals Bristol Rovers and Plymouth meet at the Memorial Ground in the pick of Tuesday night's EFL Trophy quarter-finals.

There is also a third all-League One shootout between Lincoln City and Accrington Stanley while Cheltenham take on the sole surviving League Two side - Salford City.

Pompey spurred on by Tottenham performance

What:Bolton v Portsmouth, EFL Trophy
Where:University of Bolton Stadium, Bolton
When:19:45, Tuesday 10th January 2023
Odds:Bolton, 11/10, Draw 23/10, Portsmouth 12/5

Bolton versus Portsmouth, a clash of former winners, has to be the tie of the round.

Bolton are 10/3 to go on to lift the trophy for a second time and Pompey are 7/2 to reclaim a piece of silverware they won as recently as four years ago.

The formbook suggests Bolton are the smart bet at 11/10, yet managerless Portsmouth are hoping that Saturday's brave 1-0 loss at mighty Tottenham in the FA Cup might be a real corner-turner.

With Danny Cowley gone and under the caretaker stewardship of Simon Bassey, Portsmouth put in a gutsy effort against Harry Kane and Co which defied their league record of just one win since the middle of September.

Bolton are having no such difficulties in League One – they were desperately unlucky to only get a 0-0 draw off leaders Plymouth on Saturday, but are right in the playoff mix and have kept five clean sheets in six.

This is a dress rehearsal for a League One encounter on Saturday and expect both to be tight – the last four meetings between them have produced just five goals. 

Under 2.5 Goals should be a popular 4/5 shot.

Goals on the agenda at Memorial Ground

What:Bristol Rovers v Plymouth, EFL Trophy
Where:Memorial Ground, Bristol
When:19:45, Tuesday 10th January 2023
Odds:Bristol Rovers 17/10, Draw 12/5, Plymouth 29/20

Bristol Rovers and Plymouth have already met in this year's competition, drawing 1-1 – Argyle won it on penalties – en route to securing the top-two qualifying places.

Since then Plymouth have been involved in a couple of crackers, beating Charlton 3-2 and Wimbledon on penalties after a 3-3 draw.

As for Rovers, they have won 2-1 at Colchester and thumped MK Dons 4-1.

The pair also met in the league back in October when they produced a thoroughly entertaining 2-2 draw.

You'll have noticed that both teams scored in each and every one of those games – it's a 4/7 shot on Tuesday night – and certainly, Rovers are fun personified this season with their league games averaging 3.27 goals a time.

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Salford flying League Two flag

What:Cheltenham v Salford City, EFL Trophy
Where:Whaddon Road, Cheltenham
When:19:45, Tuesday 10th January 2023
Odds:Cheltenham 6/5, Draw 12/5, Salford 23/10

Salford City are the only League Two side still dreaming of going back to Wembley where they lifted the cup in 2020.

Wembley was empty that year, when they pipped Portsmouth in a penalty shootout after a 0-0 draw, and they'd love to be able to grace the national stadium with thousands in attendance.

Cheltenham's one and only day out at the Theatre of Dreams was back in 1997/98 in the final of the FA Trophy which ended in a 1-0 win over Southport.

Cheltenham crushed Chelsea's Under-21s 4-0 to book their place in the last eight, though they come into this game on the back of two straight league defeats as they strive to fend off relegation.

Salford, in contrast, are buzzing after Saturday's 2-1 win over basement powerhouses Northampton which hoisted Neil Wood's men back into the playoff places.

Leigh could make difference for Stanley

What:Lincoln City v Accrington Stanley, EFL Trophy
Where:Sincil Bank, Lincoln
When:19:00, Tuesday 10th January 2023
Odds:Lincoln City 23/20, Draw 23/10, Accrington Stanley 12/5

The night's first quarter-final is the third all-League One affair between 2018 winners Lincoln City and Accrington Stanley, one of that rare breed of club who have never made it to Wembley.

Neither side is in good form, though, with Lincoln, 23/20 shots, winning only one of their last nine in all competitions, but that run did include a creditable 2-1 loss at Southampton in the League Cup.

Stanley are without a win in four and on Saturday were held to a 1-1 draw at non-league Boreham Wood, meaning a replay they could well have done without.

John Coleman's men have won both their knockout ties in this competition on the road, winning 1-0 at Grimsby and then 4-2 at Burton, and boast in four-goal Tommy Leigh one of the tournament's top scorers, who is 8/1 in the First Goalscorer market

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