Bolton Match Zone

Bolton Kick-Off EFL Trophy Campaign Tonight


Bolton kick off their Papa John’s Trophy campaign tonight when they host Port Vale.

While there’s a place at Wembley for the two finalists and a trophy up for grabs, there’s usually minimal interest in the early stages, but from fans and the clubs – the crowd tonight will probably be miniscule and Ian Evatt will undoubtedly change things around, although it’ll be six days until our next match against Burton.

IAN EVATT | Manager ahead of Port Vale Papa John’s Trophy fixture – YouTube

Team news

As mentioned, Evatt will change things up. He had planned to play Josh Sheehan, but his Wales call-up on Sunday night has forced a rethink of sorts. It’s genuinely hard to know what he will do, although the signs point to an Andrew Tutte and George Thomason midfield pairing. Will Aimson was earmarked to be ready for this fixture too, maybe he will be chucked in from the start. Kieran Lee is out with a slight injury, while some of the younger players will get on the bench one would imagine.

An absolute guess at the starting XI: Gilks; Brockbank, Baptiste, Aimson, Gordon; Tutte, Thomason; Kachunga, Sarcevic, Isgrove; Delfouneso

Last time out…

Bolton’s last home game against Port Vale was a day to forget, losing 6-3 at home back in December. Bolton were 2-0 down within nine minutes. Gethin Jones would quickly pull one back,  but Wanderers fell apart either side of half-time and were 6-1 down at one point. Eoin Doyle and Lloyd Isgrove both scored to maintain a tiny bit of pride.

The opposition

Port Vale got their first League Two win over the weekend, They sit 10th after drawing three of the other four, managed these days by ex-Walsall and Bristol Rovers boss Darrell Clarke, and with our former number two David Flitcroft as director of football. Dennis Politic is of course on loan there, Jamie Proctor played for us in the 2016/17 promotion season. I’m not sure he’ll play, but Brazilian goalkeeper Lucas Covolan was the one that scored the equaliser for Torquay in June’s National League play-off final.


Could be hard to call with presumably two heavily-rotated sides, but on paper Bolton should win. 2-0.

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