Wanderers welcome Simon Grayson’s Blackpool to the University of Bolton Stadium on Monday evening.
Blackpool currently sit fifth in Sky Bet League One at the time of writing and they are unbeaten in their last three matches.
Their last game against Lincoln City ended in a 2-1 victory for the Seasiders, with Sean Scannell and Jordan Thompson on the scoresheet.
New signing Joseph Dodoo could make his debut for Bolton in their League One clash with Blackpool. The 24-year-old striker, who spent last season on loan at Blackpool, was a free agent after his contract with Rangers expired and he has signed a deal until the end of the season.
Daryl Murphy made his debut against Portsmouth last weekend after recovering from a calf injury and suffered no adverse reaction so could be included again. Jake Wright (hamstring) and Chris O'Grady (knee) will be checked.
Blackpool are waiting to see whether Nathan Delfouneso, Sullay Kaikai and Joe Nuttall will be fit. All three are being closely monitored, and boss Simon Grayson is hoping the match being put back to Monday night may allow at least one of the trio to be included.
The Seasiders will be without Jordan Thompson, though, who is on international duty with Northern Ireland. The club did put in a request for the midfielder to join up with his country after the match but it was turned down.
Head to Head
Wanderers and Blackpool have faced each other a whopping 117 occasions since the first encounter back in 1896, with us coming out on top in 43 of those meetings.
The two teams have drawn on 31 occasions and Blackpool have 33 victories to their name in clashes between the two sides.
The last time the two teams met at the University of Bolton Stadium was not so long ago in the Football League Trophy, in October 2016.
Winless Bolton's results are starting to pick up under Keith Hill and they've picked up two points from their last three league games, holding Sunderland and Oxford to 1-1 and 0-0 draws, respectively. Their last League One outing resulted in a narrow 1-0 loss away at Portsmouth, while they held Rochdale in the Leasing.com Trophy on Tuesday.
Blackpool led the division in the first weeks of the season, but successive defeats to Coventry and MK Dons at the start of September brought them down a notch. Simon Grayson's men have bounced back in the last three games, though. They beat Doncaster 1-0 at the Keepmoat Stadium, drew 1-1 away to Accrington and then scored two inside the first 25 minutes in a 2-1 win at home to Lincoln.
What Bolton fans are saying pre-match
All match discussion and predictions here....
The key question is whether Grayson will take the game to Bolton and stick with the formation or revert to five at the back. Hope he continues with the formation used against Lincoln but Kaikai for Scannell. Need more pace going forward.
The Outcast wrote:as a one off, here is jessica kirkby from bolton. anne summers catalogue modelWhy as a 1 off? This is why we all used to love the match day threads. 🤣
Moved up a place without playing yesterday.
We’ll be without Bushiri due to international duty. I’m absolutely gutted.
Moving on, I wonder who Larry is referring to who haven’t trained after picking up knocks against Lincoln.
Today's Football League Paper:
"Rarely in recent times would a clash between Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers be anything to celebrate.
Chaos. Crisis. Financial peril. All were constant bedfellows for much of a ruinous decade that reduced two giants of the north west to staggering paupers.
Even 12 months ago, it would not have been unduly cruel to dub this fixture the destitution derby. But not now. as the teams prepare to go head-to-head at Bolton tomorrow night.
The Trotters are off their sickbed and taking tentative steps towards respectability after an 11th-hour takeover that banished the inept Ken Anderson and ended any fears of following Bury into oblivion.
An 18-point gap to safety pre-weekend - largely courtesy of a 12 point deduction incurred by entering administration - means relegation is odds on. Nevertheless, optimism abounds.
Blackpool are even more buoyant. Having bottomed out in League Two and bounced back under manager Gary Bowyer, March saw the Tangerines rid themselves of despised owner Owen Oyston, whose 20-year reign took the club to the brink and induced a mass boycott that emptied Bloomfield Road.
Crowds have since ballooned, and the return of manager Simon Grayson has instigated a promotion challenge in the third tier.
"The club has been transformed," says winger Liam Feeney, who arrived in August 2018, before Oyston was replaced in the boardroom by Simon Sadler. "Everything is much more positive. The fans have come back. Little changes have been made behind the scenes that are making the club a lot more professional. We've got an owner who is ambitious. It's been a massive upturn in fortune." Crisis is nothing new to Feeney. He was at Bournemouth and Bolton in tough times. For him, Blackpool was a doddle.
"I've been at clubs where we didn't get paid and that's a tough one," he says. "I knew that wasn't the case at Blackpool. Whatever else went on, the money always came through. Yeah, there were plenty of things off the pitch you'd like to be better, but they were little luxuries really. Things you can do without. If you can pay the bills, everything else is a bonus. Besides, I'd come up against Blackpool a number of times in my career, so I knew the potential of the club. It wasn't happening at the time I joined, but I'd played here in the Championship when the ground was bouncing and I hoped - maybe naively at the time - that it could happen again. Now it has and it's a privilege to be part of it."
It's happening for Feeney too. After a barren 12 months at Cardiff and a year spent refinding his form, the 32-year-old already has ten assists for the season - one more than Manchester City ace Kevin de Bruyne.
"I didn't really play regularly for 18 months," he says. "It was always going to take time. But with a proper pre-season under my belt I always backed myself to produce the goods."
And Feeney is backing his former club to follow Blackpool out of the wilderness. "The clubs aren't too far apart," he says. "They've both gone through recent troubles. Now they're coming out on the other side. Bolton are a little bit behind on all that, but it's good to see them over the worst of it. They've got a big couple of seasons coming up now and there might be a bit of pain along the way.But you look at Blackpool and we are a club who have come out the other side of similar problems in great shape. We know first hand what a situation like that can do to a club in terms of galvanising players and fans. I hope Bolton can take some inspiration from it."
I wonder if Grayson will revert back to a 5-3-2 similar to Doncaster. I am hoping he sticks with the formation used against Lincoln. Surely we can take the game to Bolton. Obviously Thompson is missing so there is a question on who replaces him. As Thompson is our most creative player, we have to find a position for Kaikai. I am assuming Delfouneso is still out.
Do you not feel like we need a new tactic for Kaikai? It seems to be a pattern that he tries to run at the defence, is marked by two full backs and then loses possession.
I remember when Ince was playing well he used to have 2 or even 3 men around him and he would get completely marked out of the game.
Scannell is maybe an appropriate replacement for Fonz whilst he’s out.
I’m with you on the formation, would much rather see us go for it with 4 defenders and Spearing clearing up just in front of them.
However, as we know Larry likes to try and keep it tight at the back. Can’t see him playing 4-3-3 away from home but I hope we sack the wing backs thing off.
I think he should play 4-3-3 otherwise players are not going to get comfortable in a system. There is a big chance he will bring Edwards back in the side and go with 5-3-2. I just hope not! I want to see the same team but Guy for Thompson and Kaikai for Scannell.
Magic147 wrote:We should go for the fucking jugular.
Tonight’s starting XI
Seems to be lots of issues with the trains due to an incident.
Watching it in a pub in Newcastle gonna try and convert some geordies
Wish me.luck 😜👍