Bolton take on Sheffield United in the hope of reaching the third round of the FA Cup.
In terms of previous Cup success this is the tie of the round; the two sides have won this trophy eight times between them, although it was a long time ago now.
In the present, it’s also a clash between the two highest placed clubs in the second round draw. Both teams are in great form despite the Blades surprise midweek defeat, but there could be personnel changes on both sides.
‘It’s probably the biggest tie in the second round. We want to be in the hat come Monday night. Both teams have evolved since the season has gone on, the task now is to keep the run going.’
Phil Parkinson in his press conference
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
David Wheater is back to full training so in theory should be available. It depends what they want to do but Derik’s form makes it not as straightforward as throwing him back in.
Liam Trotter will not be fit for a number of weeks. The usual suspects are still injured. Expect one or two changes in midfield and possibly starts for Chris Taylor and Jamie Proctor.
Player to watch: Derik Osede
Hard to pick a player when you’re not as sure of the lineup as normal. However Derik, as mentioned, has filled in brilliantly in the last few weeks. If he plays and plays well again tomorrow, it raises questions going forward. Do you go straight back to Wheater and Beevers for Gillingham? Or would Wheater have to sit on the bench for a spell.
It feels weird to have three good centre backs.
Sheff Utd Team News:
Jake Wright and James Wilson will both be absent through injury, while Wolves loanee Ethan Ebanks-Landell isn’t eligible to play. United may play a back four as opposed to their standard back three.
Player to watch: Billy Sharp
I will lazily go for the striker. He has been in fairly decent form though as the Brammall Lane side have climbed the table.
Match Facts & Stats
An FA Cup tie between these two sides provided Bolton with their record win, a 13-0 triumph in the 19th century.
Bolton won the last FA Cup meeting between these sides, a 2-0 fourth round win in 2010, Gretar Steinsson and Johan Elmander scored that afternoon.
Bolton have won at least one Cup tie every season since they entered and lost at the third round stage in 2009.
The Blades have not lost away from home since Millwall beat them in August. Bolton haven’t lost at home since October 1st.
I’ll go 2-1 to Bolton.
We host Gillingham next Monday, before a pre-Christmas trip to Chesterfield.