Team News: Bolton Wanderers v Scunthorpe United

  • December 31, 2016 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/6a589

Bolton play host to Scunthorpe United on New Year's Eve, knowing victory would take them above the League One leaders.

What a difference a year can make. 12 months ago, Wanderers had won just two of their opening 24 league games and sat four points from safety at the foot of the Championship. Relegation seemed like a foregone conclusion and was ultimately confirmed in March.

This time around, Phil Parkinson's side occupy 3rd place in the league table with 46 points - a club record at the midway point of the campaign - and know a three-point haul, combined with Sheffield United dropping points at home to Northampton Town, would see them end the calendar year at the top of the pile.

Victory over Shrewsbury Town on Boxing Day saw Bolton rack up a ninth successive win at Macron Stadium for the very first time, an achievement last matched on home soil back in March 1995 during the days of Burnden Park.

Should they make it 10 in-a-row, a feat last completed in May 1993, they may have to do it without the services of Jay Spearing, who limped out of the previous match with a groin problem.

Spearing is considered doubtful for the clash, so both Tom Thorpe and Derik Osede are on standby to feature, while club captain Darren Pratley may also be thrust straight back into the action after recovering from the broken leg he suffered on the opening day of the season.

Max Clayton returned to the substitutes' bench last time out and is too looking to push his case for selection, while fellow wingers Sammy Ameobi and James Henry play the penultimate match of their respective loan spells.

Lewis Buxton (back) and Jamie Proctor (shoulder) will miss out, joining long-term absentees Mark Howard (thumb) and Mark Davies (knee) in the stands.

Like his Bolton counterpart, Scunthorpe boss Graham Alexander will be looking to end of the year on top of League One - a position they have held since winning at Shrewsbury on September 17.

Saturday's game could be the last for on loan defender Harry Toffolo, who is due to return to Norwich City, potentially leaving him with a selection problem at left-back after Conor Townsend underwent surgery on his groin.

Richie Smallwood is another due to return to his parent club, in this case Rotherham United, but his loss may be boosted by the return of Jamie Ness, who hasn't featured since November.

Bolton Wanderers: from: Alnwick, Turner, Buxton, Moxey, Beevers, Osede, A Taylor, Wilson, Wheater, Thorpe, Vela, C Taylor, Spearing, Trotter, Pratley, Ameobi, Henry, Clough, Anderson, Madine, Clayton

Sky Bet League Two Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
20 Tranmere Rovers 3 2
21 Oldham Athletic 3 0
22 Bolton Wanderers 3 0
23 Grimsby Town 2 0
24 Southend United 3 0
View Full Standings >>

Poll

Who is Bolton's 2018/19 Player of the Year?
34.62% Gary O'Neil
19.38% David Wheater
18.92% Pawel Olkowski
9.27% Joe Williams
5.33% Jason Lowe
4.13% Sammy Ameobi
2.85% Josh Magennis
2.75% Mark Beevers
1.19% Jack Hobbs
1.01% Ben Alnwick
0.28% Andrew Taylor
0.28% Craig Noone