What Doncaster Rovers need to advance in Papa John's Trophy and who they can select to play

Doncaster Rovers boss Richie Wellens faces multiple selection issues as he takes his side to Scunthorpe United for their final group game in this season’s Papa John’s Trophy.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 10:50 am
Richie Wellens

And while injuries will certainly dictate the make-up of the squad he takes to Glanford Park, competition rules will influence him also as Rovers look to secure qualification for the knock-out stages.

Here we take a look at what Rovers need to do to make it out of the group, as well as the selection rules Wellens will look to abide by and the players he is likely to have available.

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WHAT DO ROVERS NEED TO DO TO ADVANCE IN THE COMPETITION?

Avoiding defeat tonight will see Rovers advance to the knockout stages of the Papa John’s Trophy. They can afford to draw the game and lose the bonus point penalty shootout.

Rovers currently sit third in the group, level on points with second placed Manchester City U21 who have already completed their fixtures. The City youngsters have a superior goal difference.

For Scunthorpe, a victory by four clear goals (or by three clear goals having scored five or more) would be enough to take them through.

Current Northern Group E standings:

Rotherham United P3 Pts9 GD14 Manchester City U21 P3 Pts3 GD-3 Doncaster Rovers P2 Pts 3 GD-5 Scunthorpe United P2 Pts 0 GD-6

WHAT ARE THE SELECTION RULES FOR THE PAPA JOHN’S TROPHY?

All EFL clubs involved in the competition must select four ‘Qualifying Players’ among their ten starting outfield players.

‘Qualifying Players’ are as follows:

- A player who started the previous senior game

- A player who will start the next senior game

- A player who is in the top ten of appearances made for their club that season

- A player who has made 40 or more senior appearances in their career

- A player on loan from a Premier League club or a Category One Academy

If clubs fail to meet the selection rules, they are liable for a fine of £5,000.

WHICH PLAYERS MEET THE CRITERIA FOR ROVERS?

The following players would be classed as ‘Qualifying Players’ for Rovers:

Kyle Knoyle, Tom Anderson, Ro-Shaun Williams, Joseph Olowu, Tommy Rowe, Matt Smith, John Bostock, Jordy Hiwula, Joe Dodoo, Ben Close, Rodrigo Vilca, Cameron John, Jon Taylor, Fejiri Okenabirhie, Omar Bogle, Dan Gardner, Ethan Galbraith, Tiago Cukur.

WHICH ‘QUALIFYING PLAYERS’ ARE UNAVAILABLE?

Galbraith and Cukur are both away on international duty.

Taylor, Okenabirhie, Close and John have all been ruled out until at least after the current international break.

Williams (ankle), Olowu (back), Bostock (groin), Vilca (neck) and Gardner (ankle) are all likely to miss out.

Bogle is not under consideration for selection.

Rowe was struggling with a knee injury but trained on Monday.

WHO IS LIKELY TO BE AVAILABLE?

It means Wellens must select four from Knoyle, Anderson, Rowe, Smith, Hiwula and Dodoo.

He has expressed reservations about risking both Rowe and Anderson but his hand may be forced.

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