Preview: Five talking points ahead of Bolton Wanderers v Grimsby Town

Missing men, cup runs and a man on fire - previews Wanderers' Emirates FA Cup first round tie

Wanderers host Grimsby Town on Saturday as attentions turn to cup duty with the first round of the Emirates FA Cup. Having won all of their last six outings, highlights five talking points ahead of this weekend's game.

1. Jay Spearing
Phil Parkinson confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Jay Spearing has been ruled out for up to four weeks with a groin injury.

While the gaffer also confirmed that the midfielder will have another scan next week, he will definitely miss Saturday's Emirates FA Cup first round clash with Grimsby Town.

Liam Trotter came back into the side in Spearing's place last week against Port Vale, while David Wheater has previously worn the armband in his and Darren Pratley's absence.

And while the former Liverpool man has been one of the Whites' star performers so far this season, Bolton will be determined to get the job done without him this weekend.

2. Midfield options and rotation
It's not just Jay Spearing who has been ruled out of Saturday's game with Josh Vela serving a one-match suspension and Derik Osede also an injury doubt.

The Trotters' options are a little light in the heart of midfield heading into the game with Tom Thorpe and Mark Davies also currently ruled out alongside the injured Pratley.

Meanwhile, Wanderers are also still waiting to hear whether they will be allowed to play their on-loan players against the Mariners.

But as one door closes, another door opens. Alex Perry and Jack Earing were both handed their Whites debuts earlier in the season and will be hoping for a second taste of senior action if required.

Elsewhere, the likes of Ben Alnwick, Dorian Dervite, Jamie Proctor and Chris Taylor will all be hoping for opportunities to impress if Parkinson decides to rotate his side.

Add into the equation Lewis Buxton, Max Clayton and Dean Moxey all closing in on first team returns and the manager has plenty to think about heading into Emirates FA Cup first round weekend.

3. Zach Clough
Fresh from being named PFA Fans' Sky Bet League One Player of the Month of October on Friday, Zach Clough will be hoping to continue his recent form on Saturday.

The forward first burst onto the scene in the Emriates FA Cup, scoring the winner on his debut in Bolton's third round victory over local-rivals Wigan Athletic in January 2015, before impressing in the Trotters' televised replay with Liverpool in the next round - winning a penalty along the way.

Coming into the game with five goals from his last four games, including three from his last two at Macron Stadium, the 21-year-old looks unstoppable at the moment. Grimsby Town, beware!

4. Gaffer's got form
This isn’t the first time that Wanderers and the Mariners have met in this competition, with the Whites boasting an unbeaten record in their past five FA Cup meetings.

The two sides last came up against each other back in January 2000 with Bolton running out 2-0 winners in the third round at Blundell Park on their way to the semi-finals of the tournament.

Meanwhile, the gaffer has developed quite the taste for a cup run in the past during his time with Bradford City.

He was a Capital One Cup finalist with the Bantams in 2013 having knocked out Premier League trio Arsenal, Aston Villa and Wigan Athletic on their way to Wembley.

Parkinson also led Bradford to the FA Cup quarter-finals in 2015, memorably recovering from 2-0 down to beat eventual Premier League champions Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge before seeing off top-flight Sunderland.

Could Saturday's game mark the start of another special cup run for both the Trotters and Parkinson? Get down to Macron Stadium to find out!

5. Will Wanderers' winning run continue? 
Wanderers come into Saturday's match having won all of their last six games, only conceding one goal along the way.

Up to second in the Sky Bet League One table, attentions now turn to cup action with the Whites' final Checkatrade Trophy group game following their Emirates FA Cup tie against Grimsby.

With morale high in the Bolton camp, the Trotters will be eager to avoid a cup upset on Saturday as they look to maintain their recent run.

Wanderers will be chasing a seventh successive win as they look to progress to the second round of the Emirates FA Cup at the expense of Grimsby Town on Saturday.

Whites season ticket holders can purchase tickets for the game for just £10, though these must be bought before 5.30pm on Friday if fans wish to take advantage of the special discount price!

To purchase tickets for this game, please visit Bolton Central in person, phone 0844 871 2932 or click HERE to secure your seat online right now.  
Be the 12th man and show your tremendous support to Phil Parkinson and his Super White Army this Saturday as they begin their Emirates FA Cup quest. Visit now or call 0844 871 2932.

Why not consider upgrading your match day experience and treat yourself to some corporate hospitality for just £30 per person in the Platinum Suite? 

This price includes a one-course meal, match day programme and cushioned seating on the halfway line. But please hurry, there is only limited availability left on these packages!

Hospitality packages can bought directly from the Club's Sales Team by phoning 01204 673761, emailing or by purchasing online HERE.

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