It’s Port Vale’s eleventh cup game of the season (with at least two more to come) as the Valiants travel to Bolton in the Football League Trophy knock-out stages. Here’s our preview…
Bolton Wanderers v Port Vale: Tuesday December 5th, University of Bolton stadium, Football League Trophy, 7.45pm.
Right now, this is the least important of the three cup competitions that Vale are in. That will probably be reflected in the team that is selected. However, that could change. Potential glamour ties in the League Cup and FA Cup are one thing – but this is a competition that Vale can and have won. Not only that but the prize money isn’t that shabby either. So, it is a game for Vale to take seriously.
Loan players Ollie Arblaster and Alfie Devine will miss this game through injury – although Andy Crosby says their knocks are not “major”. James Plant also has to be a doubt after his shoulder injury on Saturday. Young midfielder Rhys Walters could get another start while it will be interesting to see if young defender Ben Lomax, so impressive on his full debut gets another outing.
Vale face an extremely tough task against a Bolton side who are unbeaten in League and Cup for ten games and have won nine of those ten. Wanderers have hit a mere thirteen goals in their group games including an 8-1 thrashing of Man Utd U21.
MAN IN CHARGE
Former Chesterfield and Barrow manager Ian Evatt joined Bolton in July 2020. The 41 year-old has been in charge for 190 games so far with a 51% win ratio.
The first game between the two sides was in 1899 and Vale had to wait until 1988 to record their first competitive win. They obviously enjoyed it so much they repeated it again the same year. The last game at Vale Park ended in a 0-0 draw last season.
The last Vale win over Bolton came in 2020 but over the years wins have been few and far between with Vale recording just three in the 41 meetings between the sides. Ellis Harrison is the last Vale player to score against Wanderers.
Formed as Christ Church Football Club in 1874, Bolton Wanderers adopted their current name in 1877 and were a founder member of the Football League in 1888. The period before and after WW1 is regarded as the club’s finest as they challenged in the top division. Over the years Wanderers have won four FA Cups and two League Cups.
3 Port Vale wins
28 Port Vale losses
Our now traditional match preview quiz. How many will you get. Answers below (no cheating!)…
- Who is the current Bolton manager?
- When was the club formed?
- Who was the last Vale scorer against Bolton?
JOIN THE DEBATE
Our dedicated match thread on the forum is the place to go to discuss the match before, during and after the action. View the thoughts of fellow fans and add your comments…
PREDICT THE SCORE
GO'ARN THE VALE!
- Ian Evatt
- Ellis Harrison