Papa Johns Trophy Final Preview & Team News

The fight for promotion outside of League One is very intense. There are a number of teams that could find themselves playing championship soccer next season. For now though, two of them have to put all that aside as Plymouth Argyle and Bolton Wanderers head to the capital for the Papa Johns Trophy final.

Wembley Way welcomes Papa Johns Trophy final

Will the shape go out the window?

Recent results have gone the way of Plymouth Argyle, meaning they retain top spot heading into this momentous weekend. Sheffield Wednesday had two games in hand, but against rock-bottom Forest Green Rovers and a resurgent Cheltenham Town, they collected just one point.

Argyle are the team to beat in the third tier and Bolton Wanderers hope they can do just that, but are they losing form for a cup final? The Papa Johns Trophy final and the competition in general are surrounded by a lot of negativity, but when it matters most, fans turn up in their thousands to pack the national stadium.

Bolton fancy their chances of finding gold, but Ian Evatt’s side have been on a rough patch recently, winning just one of their last six league games. This solitary win came against Port Vale in February and since then they have faced severe tests against the likes of Wednesday and Ipswich Town.

When it comes to this competition, both sides have had a fascinating run to the grand final. He was left late at Wham Stadium in the semi-final by Wanderers despite Accrington Stanley star Sean McConville seeing red early on. Before that, they got the better of Barrow and Portsmouth while making light work of two Premier League academy teams.

Plymouth Argyle’s most notable result came in the third round, when they trailed 3-0 at half-time to AFC Wimbledon. Birmingham City Transferee Sam Cosgrove he shot home a hat-trick to turn the game around and the Greens won it on penalties. They also required penalties to get past Cheltenham in the last round, a game they dominated but were unable to make the most of.

Read more: Swansea City withdraw Morgan Whittaker from his loan spell from Plymouth Argyle

Who will make the difference in the Papa Johns Trophy final?

It’s been talked about regularly, but the biggest talking point for the Devonian team is between the sticks. Michael Cooper has been an integral part of the success enjoyed under Steven Schumacher, so Callum Burton has a lot of pressure on his shoulders. He delivered and then some in the aforementioned clash with Cheltenham, saving three penalties in dramatic fashion. Overall though, his attempts to fill Cooper’s shoes have been decent with mistakes here and there.

Facing Burton will surely be solid defender Dan Scarr. The absence of him along with Cooper gave Argyle some real problems, but he has returned to the fold in recent games and looks poised to play a pivotal role in this Papa Johns Trophy final. Two players who will be missing are James Bolton and Adam Randell.

At the top end of the field, there are plenty of worthy candidates – it was Niall Ennis who led the line in the last round with Danny Mayor and Finn Azaz in and around him. Top scorer Ryan Hardie will have something to say about that though!


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