Preview | Port Vale vs Wolves under-21

Wolves are travelling to nearby Staffordshire on Tuesday night as James Collins’ under-21s take on Port Vale in their first knockout stage match of the 2020/21 Papa John’s Trophy.

The development side earned a 2-1 win against Doncaster Rovers last time out in the EFL competition, thanks to a pair of goals from Fabio Silva, to secure their place in the round of 32.

Having fallen to Oldham Athletic in their opening fixture, the under-21s took a bonus point from their 1-1 draw with Bradford having won the decisive penalty shootout, before victory in the winner-takes-all final match of the group stages with Doncaster, finishing second in the standings.

This result saw Wolves travel to the Valiants who topped their group, thanks to an undefeated competition so far, after following up a penalty shootout win over Tranmere Rovers, with victories against Wigan Athletic and Liverpool under-21s.

Although they were on a run of five successive League Two defeats, Vale turned their fortunes around at the weekend, and come into Tuesday night’s clash off the back of a 6-3 win over Bolton Wanderers.

Due to the Papa John’s Trophy being an EFL competition, the usual live coverage on Wolves TV will NOT be available for tonight’s fixture with Port Vale. Follow @WolvesAcademy on Twitter for match updates.


Tuesday, 7pm


Vale Park, Stoke-on-Trent



3-0 vs Newcastle United (A)

1-4 vs Middlesbrough (H)

2-1 vs Doncaster Rovers* (A) PJT

Port Vale

6-3 vs Bolton Wanderers* (A)

2-3 vs Leyton Orient* (H)

1-2 vs Stevenage* (A)

*indicates first-team opposition


On the test posed by Port Vale

“The further you go in this competition, the more difficult it becomes, because league teams start to take it more seriously because it gives them a chance of getting to Wembley,” Collins said.

“In the early stages, teams tend to put a mixture of reserves and first-team players, but from this second round onwards, they tend to put their strongest team out, so if they do that, it will be a real tough test for us.

“They were having a bit of a bad run in the league, but I’ve seen them recently, and they’re a lively, energetic and decent team, who will finish higher than where they are at the moment, and, in my opinion, will be pushing for the play-offs.”

Click here to read the full thoughts of under-21 head coach James Collins ahead of this evening’s clash.


08/12 Port Vale* (A) PJT

14/12 West Bromwich Albion (A)

21/12 Norwich City (A)

18/01 Burnley (A)

24/01 Leeds United (H)

*indicates first-team opposition