PREVIEW: Port Vale v Wanderers

Wanderers go to newly-promoted Port Vale on Saturday looking to build on their unbeaten start to the season.

Ian Evatt’s men have taken four points from their opening two games and are one of nine unbeaten sides in League One.

The Whites head to Vale Park for the first time since a 1-0 win in March, 2021 helped them on their way to promotion.

Manager quotes

Ian Evatt: “I’d be a lot more pleased if we had six points and not four.

“But other than that I think it’s been a positive. I think we’ve started okay.

“We know there’s loads more to come and that’s what’s exciting for me.

“Port Vale will be a completely different test and challenge to what we’ve faced the last two games. History says it’s an intimidating and difficult place to go.

“We know what to expect, we’ve just got to make sure we execute our game-plan, implement our style and idea and hopefully that’s enough.”

Port Vale manager Darrell Clarke:

"I think the league is split. You've got some really big teams. There is a massive gulf.

"Ian has done a fantastic job. Bolton are a big club with a healthy budget, with healthy players, competition in every area of the pitch.

"It's not all about budgets and Ian has done that over a period of time to get better players in the football club.

"Sometimes it's not rocket science, the better players you have the better you become."

Team news

Wanderers will have captain Ricardo Almeida Santos back in their squad after he was left out of the mid-week Carabao Cup problem to manage a foot injury.

Striker Dion Charles misses out with a thigh strain and summer signing Eoin Toal isn’t yet match-fit following an ankle problem.

Midfielders Josh Sheehan and Lloyd Isgrove are set to step up their comebacks in the B team next week.

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Vale could have two new faces in their squad after signing striker Ellis Harrison from Fleetwood Town and goalkeeper Jack Stevens (above) on loan from Oxford United.

Last season’s top scorer – former Manchester United youngster James Wilson – is still ruled out for the Valiants, who made eight changes to their starting line-up for their mid-week cup exit to Rotherham.

However, experienced midfielder David Worrall is nearer a return after missing the last two games.

Form guide

Wanderers’ unbeaten League One run now stands at 10 games and they are unbeaten away from home in six after an opening-day draw at Ipswich Town.

The Whites will be aiming to make it a hat-trick of wins after beating Wycombe 3-0 last weekend in League One and advancing in the Carabao Cup with a mid-week 5-1 victory over Salford City.

Gethin Jones scored the winner in Wanderers’ last visit to Port Vale as Evatt’s side headed for promotion.

Vale secured promotion from League Two themselves last season, beating Mansfield Town in the play-off final.

The Valiants started their first season at League One level since 2016/17 with a 2-1 home win over Fleetwood Town before losing 4-0 at Exeter and going out of the Carabao Cup in mid-week with a 2-1 home loss to Rotherham.


Referee: Ross Joyce

Assistant referees: Nik Barnard and Leigh Crowhurst

Fourth official: Hristo Karaivanov


Saturday, 3pm


Full-match audio commentary is available on iFollow, as well as live streaming for overseas subscribers.

To order a match, monthly or seasonal audio pass, click HERE

Tickets and Travel

Wanderers will have over 3,000 fans backing them on Saturday.

Any remaining tickets will be on sale via the office phone lines (01204 328 888) until 3pm on Friday 12 August, subject to availability.

Supporters are reminded that due to industrial action, some train services will not be operating on Saturday.


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