Bolton Match Zone

Bolton Hoping To Avoid Another Port Vale Shock

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After another game was added to the unbeaten run in midweek, Bolton are back on the road this weekend, and it’s off to a venue that will bring back happy memories to Wanderers fans as we travel to Port Vale.

It’s still a dog fight amongst the top eight or nine clubs in the division, we could drop out of the playoff spots tomorrow if Exeter get a result at Cheltenham, but on the positive side we could also be a point away from the automatic spots if everything went our way tomorrow.

Our fine form has been rewarded in the guise of the Player and Manager of the month awards. Ian Evatt has taken the manager’s award, although I think they’re purely done off points picked up in any given month. Still, it proves how good we’ve been of late. Ricardo Santos meanwhile picked up the Player of the Month award, while Declan John has picked up a similar award from the PFA after a fans’ poll.

IAN EVATT | Manager ahead of Port Vale away fixture – YouTube

Team news

It should be the same core of players tomorrow, although Evatt has acknowledged that he’s having to manage players’ fitness at the moment. That could hint at a change or two, but nobody has actually been ruled out.

Previously

A cautionary tale first, Bolton had a good November but that run of form spectacularly unraveled when we hosted Vale at the start of December, found ourselves 6-1 down, and ultimately lost 6-3. But mention the words Port Vale and you’ll almost certainly think of that 2-0 win in April 2017, with David Wheater and Gary Madine scoring the goals and, ahem, that pitch invasion after the first goal.

The opposition

Port Vale may have beat us 6-3 this season, but we’ve gone in different directions since then. They sit six points above the relegation zone, have won none of their last five, and are in a process of rebuilding things. Part of that is David Flitcroft, our assistant boss last season but now Director of Football at Vale Park. Darrell Clarke was recently brought in as manager but has yet to win a game.

Prediction

Feel a bit spooked after the home game and the manager of the month curse, so it wouldn’t be a massive shock if we were held to a draw. Will go 1-1 but expect more really. We’re a different side to back in December.

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