Portsmouth missed out on promotion to the Championship last term as they lost to Oxford United in the semi-finals of the League One playoffs, while Stevenage saw their 2019-20 League Two campaign end in March due to the coronavirus outbreak, which led to the season being called off.
Stevenage, who only won three league games last season, preserved their status in the Football League for the 2020-21 campaign with Macclesfield Town ultimately being relegated from the fourth tier.
There is no getting away from the fact that it was a tough season for Alex Revell's side, who have not been in competitive action since a 3-1 defeat at Crewe Alexandra on March 7.
Stevenage have actually lost their last nine competitive matches, but they have played two friendlies since returning to training, drawing 1-1 with MK Dons and losing 1-0 to Luton Town.
The League Two side will face Southampton's Under-21 side in the EFL Trophy on September 7 before opening their league campaign away to Barrow on September 12, meaning that Revell will be desperate to get his players up to speed as soon as possible ahead of what could be another difficult season.
Portsmouth, as mentioned, lost to Oxford United on penalties in the semi-finals of the League One playoffs at the start of July as they missed out on the chance to return to the Championship.
As a result, Kenny Jackett's side are set for another campaign in the third tier of English football, and it is a quick turnaround as they also have an EFL Trophy clash before starting their league season.
Indeed, Pompey will take on Colchester United in the EFL Trophy on September 8 before hosting Shrewsbury Town in their League One opener on September 12.
Portsmouth have not actually advanced past the third round of the League Cup since reaching the quarter-finals in 2009-10, while they have gone out at this stage in three of the last four seasons.
Stevenage EFL Cup form: LWLLLL
Portsmouth EFL Cup form: LLLWWL
Stevenage could hand a debut to Remeao Hutton, having agreed to sign the defender on a season-long loan from Championship side Birmingham City.
Portsmouth, meanwhile, will have to make changes from the side that started against Oxford in their last competitive match as Christian Burgess has moved on.
Stevenage possible starting lineup:
Johnson; Hutton, Marshall, Prosser, Coker; Carter, Vincelot, Lakin; List, Marsh, Kemp
Portsmouth possible starting lineup:
Bass; Bolton, Naylor, Raggett, Brown; Morris, Close; Williams, Harness, Curtis; Harrison
We say: Stevenage 0-2 Portsmouth
Both teams will feel that they have bigger fish to fry at this stage, but we expect Portsmouth's superior quality across the board to prevail, ultimately backing the visitors to record a 2-0 win.