February 21, 2024

The EFL Trophy Southern Section’s bottom two clubs, Stevenage of League One and Crystal Palace Under-21s of Crystal Palace, will square off on Tuesday night.

Both Wycombe Wanderers and AFC Wimbledon have already secured their spots in the following round from this area, hence neither team can move on to the second round of the competition.

Stevenage secured a spot in League One for the 2023-24 campaign courtesy of their second-placed finish in last season’s League Two table.

The Boro have also made an impressive start to this term, picking up 29 points from their opening 17 league matches, which has left them in fifth spot in the division.

Steve Evans’s side will enter this match off the back of three straight wins, including a 4-3 success over Tranmere Rovers in the first round of the FA Cup, with Port Vale or Burton Albion set to be their opponents in the second round of the competition at the start of December.

Stevenage also beat Wycombe 1-0 in League One on Saturday afternoon, with the result making it five games unbeaten in all competitions.

As mentioned, though, Evans’s team cannot advance in this competition, sitting third in the section on one point from two games, beating AFC Wimbledon on penalties in their section opener before suffering a 1-0 loss to Wycombe last time out in the tournament.

Stevenage are four points behind second-placed AFC Wimbledon, with Palace Under-21s at the bottom of the section on zero points, losing both of their games in Group C.

The Eagles opened their campaign with a 1-0 loss at Wycombe on September 19 before suffering a 2-0 defeat to AFC Wimbledon last time out, with the result eliminating them from the competition.


Darren Powell’s side will enter this match off the back of a 4-2 defeat to Ipswich Town Under-21s on Friday in the Premier League Cup.


Palace Under-21s have won their last two matches in the Premier League 2 against West Bromwich Albion Under-21s and Leeds United Under-21s, though, with a total of nine points from eight matches leaving them in 16th position in the table.

      Jamie Reid scores for Stevenage at the 2023 FA Cup

Stevenage head coach Evans will make a number of changes to the side that took to the field against Wycombe in the league on Saturday with one eye on next weekend’s clash with Lincoln City.

Elliott List was an unused substitute against Wycombe, but the 26-year-old is expected to be given the nod in the final third of the field for this match.


There should also be a spot between the sticks for Krisztian Hegyi, while Nathan Thompson is set to feature at the back on Tuesday night.


As for Palace Under-21s, the team is expected to be similar to the one that took to the field for the first whistle against AFC Wimbledon in their last game in the competition.


The highly-rated Malcolm Ebiowei is set to receive more minutes, with the 20-year-old bidding to catch the attention of first-team head coach Roy Hodgson.


Franco Umeh could also be introduced for the Eagles in the final third of the field.



Stevenage possible starting lineup:

Hegyi; Freeman, Thompson, Piergianni, Hannam; White, Neal, MacDonald, Thompson; List, Pressley


Crystal Palace Under-21s possible starting lineup:

Whitworth; Imray, Sheridan, Grehan, Adaramola; Ebiowei, Ozoh, Ahamada, Wells-Morrison; Akinwale, Umeh

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