Portsmouth v Crawley: early team news

Sean Raggett is set to start against Crawley. Picture: Robin Jones.
Sean Raggett is set to start against Crawley. Picture: Robin Jones.
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Pompey will field a fairly strong side for the beginning of their EFL Trophy defence against Crawley. 

James Bolton is set to make his return from injury after sustaining an ankle problem in the opening-day defeat to Shrewsbury.

He’ll feature at right-back, while Norwich loanee Sean Raggett will start as the Blues try to get him up to match sharpness. 

Alex Bass will make his first appearance of the campaign with Craig MacGillivray away on Scotland duty.

A number of youngsters such as Matt Casey and Leon Maloney are also likely to be involved. 

However, the game comes too soon for Ryan Williams (quad) and Oli Hawkins (foot) but they could feature for the reserves next week at Doncaster. 

Lee Brown (Achilles), Bryn Morris (groin) and Marcus Harness (thigh) are out while Ronan Curtis and Ross McCrorie have been called up by the Republic of Ireland and Scotland under-21s respectively. 

Meanwhile, Joe McNerney could make his first appearance of the season for Crawley at Fratton Park.

The defender has been sidelined with a back problem. 

Josh Dacres-Cogley might also line-up for the League Two outfit.

The on-loan Birmingham full-back limped out of the Reds’ Carabao Cup win over Norwich last week and missed his side’s 1-0 success over Cheltenham on Saturday.