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Both sides come into this match still looking for their first win of the season and Willie Duncan is tipping Paul Groves' Cherries to pick up a vital victory at Fratton Park

League One strugglers Portsmouth and Bournemouth will battle it out for a place in the second round of the Football League Trophy when they meet at Fratton Park on Tuesday night.

Paul Groves’ Cherries are marked up as narrow favourites at 6/4 (2.50) with William Hill while Pompey, under the stewardship of Michael Appleton, are rated as 9/5 (2.80) chances with William Hill.

These two sides played out a 1-1 draw in a league meeting at Fratton Park just over two weeks ago and the draw is sure to attract support in the betting with William Hill pricing up such an eventuality as an 11/5 (3.20) shot.

Both sides come into this match still looking for their first win of the season with Portsmouth, who won the FA Cup as recently as 2008, having drawn two and lost two of their opening four league fixtures while also crashing out of the League Cup at the hands of Plymouth Argyle of League Two.

The formbook, though, is barely more encouraging for the Cherries. League Two Oxford United disposed of Paul Groves’ men in the League Cup on penalty kicks and Bournemouth were forced to settle for three successive 1-1 draws as the league campaign got underway before losing out 5-3 to Sheffield United at the weekend.

Lee Barnard has netted twice so far this term for Bournemouth and he is chalked up at 13/2 (7.50) with William Hill to open the scoring at Fratton Park on Tuesday while Bournemouth’s 40-year-old striker, Steve Fletcher, is 9/1 (10.0) to break the deadlock.

Both Izale McLeod and Luke Rodgers are rated as 5/1 (6.0) shots with William Hill to open the scoring for Michael Appleton’s hosts while Conor Clifford, who scored in Pompey’s 4-2 reverse against Carlisle United just over a week ago, is chalked up at a chunky 16/1 (17.0) to bag the opener.

A tight match looks likely and Portsmouth are rated as an 8/1 (9.0) chance with William Hill for a 1-0 triumph while the Cherries are available at 7/1 (8.0) with the same firm to record a 1-0 win.

It is difficult to back either side with supreme confidence here but Paul Groves’ side performed well enough in defeat to Sheffield United and a repeat of that display should see them squeeze past a Pompey side short of confidence.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Bournemouth to win at 6/4 (2.50) with William Hill
Lee Barnard to score first at 13/2 (7.50) with William Hill

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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter

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