Bolton Wanderers get a change of pace tomorrow as attention turns to the FA Cup – this time we enter at the first round, being in League One and all that.
It’ll be a slightly odd situation as well given that we’ll be going into a game as clear favourites – our opponents are a good League Two side, but ultimately a League Two side – Plymouth Argyle. They of most teams will provide a touch of sobriety – manager Ryan Lowe and a number of players were at Bury 12 months ago – Lowe has even suggested some Bury fans may join the travelling Devonian contingent in the away end tomorrow.
For us, it’s either a chance to rotate and rest ahead of our next league game against MK Dons a week down the line, a free hit where it would be nice to do well but no need to lose our marbles if we went out, which is generally my view of a cup competition, or something we should be targeting to keep that winning feeling and bring in some extra cash.
Either way, the road to Wembley starts here, even if we won’t be there at the end.
The official site still lists a number of players out, while Keith Hill has said he won’t rush anyone back for this. I reckon a similar side to last week, with no new returnees, but I could be wrong. I usually am.
Plymouth have an ex-Wanderer in Joe Riley – the right back is in his second season at Home Park after joining from Shrewsbury on a free.
Facts and stats
Bolton have won the FA Cup more times than any other team that is playing in the first round.
Victory tomorrow would be our fourth on the bounce, one away from equalling the five game run we had in March 2017.
Our last meeting against Argyle was a win in 1993, a 3-1 trumph at Burnden Park in a Division 2 (now League One) game. This is the first time we have played them at the UniBol (or whatever you want to call it.)
The last time we lost in the first round of the FA Cup was 1989.
Depends on who plays I suppose – but a 3-1 win would be nice.