It may seem slightly premature to be predicting the starting XI, as the final is still two weeks away. However, following the Walsall win, Jack Ross will now be considering who will play. Next time we watch the lads play it will be at Wembley, and it’s time to consider who gets the nod to start.
Jon McLaughlin: No discussion here. He’s been our best player this season
Luke O’Nien: Following a few average performances and calls for Adam Matthews to take his place, Luke responded in the best possible manner by having an excellent all-round game against the Saddlers, solid going forwards and fantastic in defence.
Jack Baldwin: Baldwin has performed well since being recalled into the side, looking the more assured defender next to both Flanagan and Dunne.
Tom Flanagan: Arguably the most difficult decision in the team, Flanagan didn’t help his cause by giving away the free kick which allowed Walsall to take an early lead on Saturday. However, Jimmy Dunne has been inconsistent, so maybe Tom might get the nod.
Adam Matthews: The Welshman did well at left back v Walsall and has certainly done enough to stake a claim at a Wembley appearance, although Denver Hume might be worth a shout too as he’s a natural left back.
Grant Leadbitter: The former academy graduate has to play against Pompey. He dictates play extremely well and strolls around the pitch like a Rolls Royce. Fist name on team sheet.
Lee Cattermole: Lee Barry has impressed this season after a summer of uncertainty. After everything he has endured in the past few years at the club, he deserves this moment at Wembley more than anyone.
George Honeyman: Following a bizarre rule change, the Prudhoe-born captain is able to play in the Checkatrade trophy. It will be an immensely proud moment for him and everyone connected to the club to see him walk the team out.
Aiden McGeady: Another player who is undroppable at the moment. When in the right mindset McGeady is absolutely unplayable and his experience will be a key asset in the final.
Lewis Morgan: The tricky winger has settled in well and was very impressive against Walsall and came very close to getting another goal. Gooch came on later and failed to show Jack Ross why he should be in the team for Wembley.
Will Grigg: Grigg hasn’t had much service or support of late, but his goal against Walsall shows the match winning asset that he is.