PREVIEW: Wanderers v Portsmouth

Wanderers face Portsmouth at the University of Bolton Stadium for the second time in five days looking to repeat their mid-week Papa Johns Trophy win.

Ian Evatt’s men beat Pompey 1-0 on Tuesday night to book a place in the semi-finals and will now be looking to add more points to their League One tally.

Wanderers currently sit fifth, while Portsmouth – still to appoint a new permanent manager – have slipped into mid-table with games in hand on the sides above them.

Manager quotes:

Ian Evatt: “We’re in good form. We’re having some good results. We want to win more consistently but keep up that hard-to-beat nature we’ve developed and looking forward to another good performance on Saturday.

“We know the things we got wrong (on Tuesday night) even though we won, so there’s improvement to come there and we’re looking to go again and hopefully get three points.

“We made six changes the other night, which is great credit to the players that came into the team that we can make as many changes and still get results and win football matches.

“The team that’s been playing regularly in the league, one or two of them needed some rest.

“We’ve been able to recuperate them ready to go again on Saturday. Another challenging game, another difficult game and we’re looking forward to it.”

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Portsmouth interim head coach Simon Bassey:

“We made changes on Tuesday night, as did Bolton, so although we’re going back to the same place, there will be different players involved.

“This is a new challenge and we know that they’re a good side who are at the top end of the table for a reason.

“But we have to take the learning from the previous performance up there and try to move on from that.

“We lost to a really poor goal and had been in a good place up to that point. We looked comfortable and then suddenly found ourselves behind, while we’re not a free-scoring team at the moment.

“We also got into some dangerous positions and yet I can’t remember too many crosses going in, so that’s something else we have to work on.”

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Team news:

Wanderers will have new loan signing Dan Nlundulu available for the first time after being cup-tied for the Trophy win over Portsmouth.

Defender Gethin Jones may miss out again with a minor knee problem and Jack Iredale isn’t expected to feature again this term following confirmation he will undergo knee surgery next week.

Two of the Portsmouth loan players who started Tuesday night’s cup tie have returned to their parent clubs, including West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Josh Griffiths.

Josh Oluwayemi, 21, is therefore expected to make a league debut in goal after previous appearances in the Papa Johns Trophy.

Striker Josh Koroma has returned to Huddersfield, with top scorer Colby Bishop expected to be back in the visitors’ starting line-up.

Popmey could have central defender and captain Clark Robertson back after a fornight out with a hip injury but midfielder Marlon Pack is suspended.

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Form guide:

Wanderers extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to seven games with Tuesday night’s Trophy win.

The Whites are also unbeaten in five in League One and are undefeated in seven home games since their FA Cup exit in early November.

Portsmouth’s winless run extended to six games at the Unibol on Tuesday night.

Pompey haven’t won in League One since October, with six draws in nine games since then.


Referee: Geoff Eltringham

Assistant referees: Ian Cooper, Lee Venamore

Fourth official: Andy Haines


3pm Saturday


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