Bolton Match Zone

Preview: The Options For Bolton Ahead Of Fleetwood Trophy Clash


Attention turns to the Papa John’s Trophy tomorrow when Bolton host Fleetwood.

It will be interesting to see how we approach this – on one hand Ian Evatt has stressed the need to give some players a rest in a busy run, and has promised to use some of the youngsters, while at the same time, the aim should be to progress to the last 16, and we do have a week between tomorrow’s game and the next match, which is the league fixture away to the Cod Army.

IAN EVATT | Wanderers manager previews Fleetwood Town Papa John’s Trophy home clash – YouTube

Team news

Dapo Afolayan will be available after missing Saturday’s match through suspension. Otherwise it’s the same small group of players who are available. One or two changes could be made – Matt Gilks, Alex Baptiste and Nathan Delfouneso were the senior players on the bench on Saturday so they theoretically could all come in with Afolayan to provide some rotation. With five subs now permitted in this competition, we could expect playing time for the likes of Mitchell Henry, Arran Pettifer, Max Conway and Matthew Tweedley.

Possible XI – Gilks; Gordon, Almeida Santos, Baptiste, John; Johnston, Thomason; Kachunga, Lee, Afolayan; Delfouneso

Last time out

Our last home game against Fleetwood came in November 2019, when we beat them 2-1 in League One in what was Keith Hill’s first home league win. First half goals in quick succession from Chris O’Grady and Daryl Murphy gave us a 2-0 lead, before Josh Morris scored late to give us a scare.

The opposition

That season, we went down while Fleetwood made the play-offs, but things have gone downhill for them since. They brought in Simon Grayson, who was once the cheat code for getting promoted from League One, but it didn’t work out, and he was sacked last week with the club in relegation zone. Evatt’s former Blackpool team-mate Stephen Crainey will be in charge for this. If he plays the same team as the weekend (which might not be likely) ones to watch will include defender Tom Clarke, who played over 200 games for Preston but dropped down to League Two to spend last season at Salford. Left-back Danny Andrew can take a free kick, while midfielder Daniel Batty is in his first full season at Highbury after leaving Hull mid-way through the last campaign. Alex Cairns is the first choice goalkeeper, but Billy Crellin, yes, that one, played all three group games.


It really depends on how both sides line up, but assuming they both go relatively strong (or as strong as they can) I would hope we could get through. 2-1 to Bolton.

Share this article

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *