Portsmouth v Bolton Wanderers,
Saturday 4 August,
Fratton Park, 3pm Kick-Off
Bolton Wanderers head into the final week of their pre-season fixtures this Saturday when they face League One newcomers Portsmouth at Fratton Park.
Only two weeks remaining until the Trotters begin their 2012/13 Npower Championship campaign against neighbours Burnley at Turf Moor, with further friendlies against Tranmere Rovers and Barcelona B to follow after Saturday’s encounter on the south coast.
Michael Appleton’s Portsmouth side have endured a very tough pre-season, both on and off the field, and will be determined to put in a good performance in front of their supporters.
Having been given a ten-point deduction by the Football League due to the financial problems that have engulfed Fratton Park, the club has also endured a mass player exodus. They suffered a 4-0 defeat against Gibraltar recently, followed by a 5-1 defeat in Jerez at the hands of Brighton.
However, Wednesday night marked their first win of pre-season as Izale McLeod’s first-half strike earned Pompey a 1-0 win over League Two outfit Aldershot.
Portsmouth now will be aiming to follow up on Wednesday night’s result and head into their season opener at Plymouth in the Capital One Cup on August 14 In good spirits, but due to their off-field problems, Appleton is likely to field several young players and trialists on Saturday afternoon.
At present, Pompey only have four senior first team players contracted to the club and just two of those -Tal Ben Haim and Liam Lawrence - played against Aldershot in midweek.
As for Bolton, they themselves will be equally as eager to follow up on Wednesday night’s result after they came away from the Globe Arena with a well-deserved 2-0 over Morecambe in their fifth friendly of pre-season.
Chris Eagles and David Ngog marked their returns to the side with each finding the net early in the first half.
Speaking about his performance and goal, Eagles said: “I was just pleased to get back involved as I had been injured for a week.
“I was worried to see if my back would hold up but it was fine and it was a great game for all of us to play together. I thought that we passed and moved the ball brilliantly which the Gaffer is encouraging.
“I set out to score in every game that I play but it’s nice to get off to a good start and get those minutes under your belt.”
Martin Petrov, Sam Ricketts, Tyrone Mears were all unused substitutes for Wednesday’s friendly, while Chung-Yong Lee sat the game out. All four could be in contention to return to the team on the south coast.
Admission is priced at £1 for Under 17s, £10 for adults and £5 for seniors and young people (aged 60+ and 17-22 respectively).