Fledgling pair handed Portsmouth debuts while Arsenal under-21s line-up includes Laurent Koscielny 

Matt Casey makes his Pompey debut against Arsenal under-21s. Picture: Neil Marshall
Matt Casey makes his Pompey debut against Arsenal under-21s. Picture: Neil Marshall

Matt Casey and Freddie Read have been handed their Pompey debuts to face Arsenal under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy tonight (7.45pm).

Casey, who has been on loan at Gosport Borough this season, starts at centre-back alongside Christian Burgess for the second-round tie.

Freddie Read. Picture: Joe Pepler

Freddie Read. Picture: Joe Pepler

Meanwhile, academy midfielder Read makes his Blues bow in centre midfield.

Kenny Jackett has made 11 changes from Sunday’s 1-0 FA Cup victory over Rochdale.

Adam May has returned from his loan spell at Aldershot to face Arsenal, while Brett Pitman spearheads Pompey’s attack.

The Blues’ bench includes all but two academy players in first-year professional Dan Smith and Wolves loanee Joe Mason – who has recovered from a groin injury.

The Gunners’ starting XI features first-team captain Laurent Koscielny.

The France international continues his comeback after picking up an Achilles injury in Arsenal’s Europa League semi-final second-leg loss to Athletico Madrid. 

Pompey: McGee, Walkes, Burgess, Casey, Haunstrup, Read, May, Rose, Green, Dennis, Brett Pitman.

Bench: Leon Pitman, Mnoga, Flint, Johnston, Maloney, Smith, Mason.