Wanderers make another long trip to the South Coast to take on Portsmouth at Fratton Park in Sky Bet League One this weekend.
Ian Evatt’s men responded excellently to going two goals down at home to Gillingham last weekend to earn a point thanks to late goals from Dapo Afolayan and Kieran Lee. A point on the board a platform to build on following three consecutive defeats at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday, Wigan Athletic, and Plymouth Argyle.
Pompey come into this game following a 2-2 draw at Accrington Stanley. Similar to Wanderers, the point came off the back of three defeats in a row; Danny Cowley’s side beaten by Sutton United in the EFL Trophy, and Rotherham United, and Ipswich Town in Sky Bet League One.
Pre-match quotes: From the bosses
Ian Evatt: “We felt good at the end of last week and we have to build on that positive feeling. The group has been really good this week. It’s been good in training and we’ve had a day out together as well, so we’re looking forward to the game on Saturday.
“It’s a really challenging game so we have to make sure we’re at the top of our game. Fratton Park is an excellent place to go and play. I played there and the atmosphere is always top class. The lads will enjoy it but we need to focus on ourselves and make sure we perform to our levels and standards.”
Danny Cowley: “It’s good that we’re back at Fratton Park and have the chance to put right some wrongs. We can’t do anything about what’s already happened, but we can certainly affect what happens from now.
“We know it won’t be easy and we’ll need everyone. The Pompey supporters are intelligent enough to know they’ve got an important role. There is a run of four – potentially five – back-to-back home games, so this could be a turning point in our season.”
Amadou Bakayoko will miss out on Saturday’s trip to Portsmouth with an ankle injury sustained in last weekend’s draw with Gillingham. Ian Evatt, though, is hopeful to have the forward back for next weekend’s Emirates FA Cup tie against Stockport County.
Eoin Doyle is a doubt for the fixture after suffering from illness this week, whilst George Johnston has recovered from a knock to be available for selection at Fratton Park.
Tickets and Travel
Tickets for tomorrow’s Sky Bet League One fixture at Portsmouth are no longer on sale, with no pay on the day available at Fratton Park. Over 1,000 tickets for the away end have been sold, so another impressive travelling following will be on show!
In Travel news, the M27 eastbound is closed between junctions 9 & 11, although there is a diversion through Fareham.
Wanderers fans looking for a pub to go to before the match are encouraged by Greater Manchester Police to attend The Good Companion, Velder Avenue. This pub is just a five-minute walk from the ground.
Last Time Out
Portsmouth 1-0 Bolton Wanderers | Saturday 28 September 2019
Having lost his first game in charge at Rotherham United 6-1, Keith Hill guided his side to back-to-back home draws against Oxford United and Sunderland. But, despite an encouraging display at Fratton Park, Wanderers’ woes on the road continued with a narrow defeat at the hands of Portsmouth.
Bolton started the game on the front foot, but an opportunity was presented to Pompey in the second half with Jack Hobbs fouling Brett Pitman inside the box. Pitman himself took the spot-kick but his effort cannoned off the post.
The experienced forward did ultimately find the winning goal; latching onto James Bolton’s cross from the right-hand side, he rose above Josh Emmanuel to loop a header past a despairing Remi Matthews and into the bottom corner.
Line-Up: Matthews, Emmanuel (L. Murphy 67), Zouma, Hobbs, Chicksen, Lowe, Bridcutt, Crawford, Verlinden (Politic 61), Buckley, D. Murphy.
Unused Subs: Alexander, Boon, Senior, Graham, Weir.
Referee: Craig Hicks
Assistants: Justin Amey and Paul Yates
Fourth Official: Sam Allison