Bolton Match Zone

Bolton Need A Point From Rochdale To Guarantee Knockout Pizza Cup


Bolton will aim to seal their place in the knockout stages of the Papa John’s Trophy tonight as they face Rochdale at Spotland.

We only need a point to advance – so as long as we don’t lose within 90 minutes we’ll be fine – even then Port Vale would have to beat Liverpool’s youngsters next week, and by a certain margin too possibly depending on how heavily we would be beaten. But let’s not think about that…

It’s also heralds the start of a bit of a break from the league, as this weekend we have our FA Cup match against Stockport. Ian Evatt might well make some changes, but he, and we, will want a couple of good results to boost confidence over the next week or so.

Team news

Bolton don’t have too many options for change, given their illness and injury issues. Xavier Amaechi is back in training but won’t be involved tonight, while Elias Kachunga might get a go as a central striker. I would expect Matt Gilks to be in goal for this one too.

Possible XI: Gilks; Brockbank, Baptiste, Johnston, Gordon; Lee, Comley; Isgrove, Thomason, Delfouneso; Kachunga

Last time out

Bolton’s last trip to Rochdale was for a League One game in January last year – it ended in defeat as goals in either half from Luke Matheson and Jimmy Ryan saw us lose 2-0.

The opposition

Having being relegated last season Rochdale sit in mid-table in League Two but under Robbie Stockdale they’re starting to put together a little run, with four league games unbeaten and winning their last two. So far in this cup, they’ve beaten Liverpool U21s before losing late to Port Vale, and will probably need to win in 90 minutes to secure knockout football, as you’d expect Vale to win next week. If they play as they did in their last game in this tournament, their key players will be Liam Kelly, who like George Johnston went to Feyenoord under Jaap Stam. Wing-back Corey O’Keefe, on loan from Mansfield, scored twice against Liverpool’s under-21s in their opening group game, Defender Aidy White is another summer signing. He came through at Leeds, and years ago we were linked with signing him. He had a injury hit few years but went to Scotland for a couple of years and won the Championship with Hearts last season.

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