Bolton make the long trip down to Portsmouth tomorrow looking for their first away points of the season.
We’re starting to see signs of progress under Keith Hill, with a couple of encouraging draws at home. On the road will be a different challenge though, Portsmouth are a good side on paper but have being struggling in the league, fourth bottom in fact. It’ll be interesting to see how they’ll respond to their Carabao Cup thrashing at home to bitter rivals Southampton in midweek – Pompey started well in that game but ultimately their opponents’ finishing was too good for them.
— Bolton Wanderers FC (@OfficialBWFC) September 26, 2019
Bolton will have to make a change in defence, due to Jake Wright’s injury. The man coming in will likely be Yoan Zouma, although Jordan Boon and Adam Senior could get the nod. It still seems unlikely that we’ll have any of the previously injured lot back, including Ben Alnwick, so Matt Alexander should be on the bench again.
Portsmouth played striker Oli Hawkins as a centre-back on Tuesday, who then had to come off with an injury that will have him out for the next few weeks. Lee Brown, Bryn Morris and Jack Whatmough are also out, but they should welcome back Marcus Harness and Ellis Harrison.
Facts and stats
We’re still waiting to pick up our first away points, and are looking to at least not lose by five goals, which we have done in our last three away games. Portsmouth, despite their awful start to the season, are unbeaten in the league at Fratton Park.
It’s our first trip to Portsmouth in just over 10 years – in August 2009 we got our first win of the 2009-10 Premier League season, Gary Cahill scoring an 89th minute winner in a 3-2 victory.
I’d take a point as we’ve yet to go and prove that we can take our improvement in the last two games out on the road. Fratton Park is a tough place to go, and what I’ve seen of Portsmouth in their League Cup games was actually quite good, so they’re capable of improving. Portsmouth will be probably be favourites to win, so it’s up to us to try and turn a probably unhappy crowd and make the natives restless.