Bolton Match Zone

John Back In Training And Other News Ahead of Bolton v Gillingham


Bolton will be looking to get back on track this weekend after a run of defeats to top half sides – with an easier, on paper at least, match at home to Gillingham.

We’ve lost three in a row, conceding eight without reply in those three matches, and from being just off the playoffs, there’s a slight gap, with the teams just inside the bottom half probably eyeing us up a little bit. A win tomorrow though, realistically would take us as high as ninth, but anyone down to Portsmouth in 17th could overtake us, although realistically not all of teams will do so. We could have a couple of players back in defence too, which is a boost.

IAN EVATT | Wanderers manager previews Gillingham weekend league clash – YouTube

Team news

Gethin Jones’ injury may now keep him out until the New Year, so it’s a question of whether Ian Evatt sticks with Harry Brockbank, or moves Alex Baptiste to the right, as Ricardo Santos is back from suspension. A call will be made on the day regarding Declan John, who is at least back in full training after missing the last couple of matches.

Possible XI: Dixon; Brockbank, Almeida Santos, Johnston, John; Williams, Sheehan; Isgrove, Sarcevic, Afolayan; Bakayoko

Last time out

Bolton’s last home game against Gillingham was back in December 2016. In a televised Monday night game, we ran out 4-0 winners in what was our League One promotion season. Gary Madine and Josh Vela scored first half goals, before Madine added another mid-way through the second half, while Sammy Ameobi made it four late on. The scheduled game in 2019/20 never happened due to the curtailment of that season.

The opposition

Gillingham are 19th, three points above the relegation zone, and ended a three match losing streak with a midweek victory. Steve Evans has been in charge for just over two years, while the club have been in the third tier for an extended spell now. Jack Tucker, a defensive midfielder who can play centre-back too, has come through the academy, has been the Young Player of the Year for the last two seasons, and has attracted Championship interest. Striker Vadaine Oliver scored 17 goals last season and picked up League One’s Player of the Month award in March, while this season he’s scored four in the league so far. Mustapha Carayol, who can play behind the striker, up front, or wide, has over 100 games at Championship level, and linked up again with Evans this summer – he played under him at Crawley and Leeds. Carayol returned to England after spells in Cyprus and Turkey.


I would have to see the team but it could be a nervous one, and wouldn’t be surprised if we got stung here. 0-1

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