On Friday, Bolton host Salford City at the University of Bolton Stadium. It is bound to be an interesting fixture with both sides looking to improve on their starts to the season. This is also the first time these sides have played each other in the Football League so we go into it with an open book in terms of previous games between the two.
The home side currently sit in 20th place on 10 points. It has been quite a disappointing start to the campaign for them. They have only won one of their last five league games, their last win coming in a 1-0 victory against Bradford City towards the end of last month. This only the second win Bolton have managed all season. Boss Ian Evatt will look to get the most out of his team and move them further away from the dreaded bottom two.
Salford City on the other hand are 10th in the table with 16 points. They are looking to push on towards the upper ends of the table with the hope of promotion come the end of the season. It is bound to be a big game for them with the recent appointment of former player Richie Wellens who managed promotion with Swindon Town last season before quitting to now join Salford. Salford City are in better form than the hosts but it hasn’t been perfect for them winning two of their last five games. Their last win coming against Oldham Athletic on the 31st October.Embed from Getty Images
Bolton have two serious injuries in their side meaning they are unable to feature in this one. Youngster, Dennis Politic, who suffered a long term injury to his ACL, and Eoin Doyle, suffering from a hamstring injury, are most likely to miss out.
Gethin Jones, is expected to be closing in on a return to the Bolton squad but it may be unlikely that he starts. If the right-back can’t make his return Evatt is expected to maintain his three at the back formation.
Wellens has a mostly fit squad going into this one. Only one player is expected to miss out a place in the starting 11: Darren Gibson.Embed from Getty Images
Bolton – 3-4-1-2 – Crellin, Brockbank, Santos, Delaney, Kioso, Sarcevic, White, Gordon, Crawford, Delfouneso, Gnahoua
I’m expecting a few changes to the Bolton side that drew to Mansfield in the last league 2 fixture as well as changes to the team that lost to Crewe Alexandra in the FA Cup on Saturday. Brockbank and Gnahoua will return to the starting 11 after missing a few games. Other than those changes I expect a very similar side for Bolton.
Salford City – 4-2-3-1 – Hladky, Bernard, Eastham, Turnbull, Touray, Lowe, Threkheld, Thomas-Asante, Henderson, Hunter, Wilson
Not many changes if any for Salford City in this one. They are more than likely going to play their strongest side possible. Tom Clark the only name not in this eleven with Manchester United loanee Di’Shon Bernard likely to come in.
Bolton Wanderers 0 – 2 Salford City
I think this will be a tightly fought fixture with both teams really needing the points. Bolton are struggling however with only two wins all season so far. Salford seem strong and with it being the first game in charge for boss Wellens, who will look for a good performance in his first game, it is hard to see past Salford in this one.Embed from Getty Images