PAPA JOHNS TROPHY PREVIEW: Wanderers v Man United U21s

Wanderers tackle the road to Wembley again tonight (Tuesday) when they face Manchester United’s U21s at the University of Bolton Stadium.

The Whites will be looking to better last season’s run to the last-16 of the competition by booking a place in the quarter-finals for the first time.

Manager quotes:

Ian Evatt: “It’s a massive carrot at the end and it’s a great opportunity for us to progress to the next round.

“We’re not taking it lightly at all. We think they’re going to be a really good team – a technical team.

“They’re one of the big clubs in the country – in the world – so they’re going to have the best young players.

“Technically we know they’re going to be good but physically we should have the advantage - and mentally and with our experience we should have the advantage also.

“We have to take it very seriously and hopefully progress and only two steps then from Wembley.

“We’re trying to win as many games as possible and this gives us another chance to do that.”

Team news:

Wanderers hope to have midfielder Aaron Morley, forward Kieran Sadlier – the Whites’ top scorer in the competition – and wing-backs Owen Beck and Declan John back in their squad following the illness which kept them out of Saturday’s loss at Shrewsbury.

Skipper Ricardo Santos remains sidelined, along with midfielders Kyle Dempsey and George Thomason, but boss Ian Evatt intends to field the strongest side he can.

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Manchester United’s youngsters are likely to be guided by former Tottenham, Derby and Hull City midfielder Tom Huddlestone.

The 35-year-old ex-England international has taken on an Academy player-coaching role at Old Trafford to help guide the U21 squad.  

Nineteen-year-old Charlie McNeil could lead the visitors’ attack after scoring in each of United’s group games in the Trophy and making a senior debut as a substitute at Real Sociedad in the Europa League in September.

Form guide:

Wanderers’ defeat at Shrewsbury Town on Saturday was their first loss in five games.

The Whites topped their group in the qualifying stage of the Trophy and then beat Barrow 3-2 in the first round.

United’s U21s also topped their group with seven points from three games – beating Carlisle and Barrow and drawing with Fleetwood.

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They then got past Wolves’ U21s in a penalty shoot-out following a 0-0 draw in the first knock-out round.

Mark Dempsey’s side is currently 11th in the top tier of Premier League 2, having drawn seven of their first 12 games.


Referee: Martin Coy

Assistant referees: Paul Stonier and Bradley Hall

Fourth official: Benjamin Speedie


Tuesday 7.45pm


Tickets are still available to buy HERE at just £10 for adults and £5 for over-65s and under-18s.


For those who can’t make it, the game will be streamed live on BWFC iFollow with a £10 video match pass available HERE

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