Team News: Bolton Wanderers v Walsall

  • January 05, 2019 | By Chris Mann
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Off-field issues have yet again served as a precursor to the weekend football, as Bolton prepare to host Walsall in the third round of the FA Cup.

Wanderers slumped back into the Championship relegation zone after a 6-0 drubbing at Hull City on New Year's Day.

Their meeting with the Saddlers should have provided a welcome distraction as Phil Parkinson's side looked to get back on track after a promising turn of form over the Christmas period, but events have since taken a turn for the worse as financial woe continues to strike at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Thursday's news that the Trotters had been slapped with a registration embargo could potentially rob the club of four first-team players, while it also emerged on Friday that stock at club superstore Bolton Central was being reclaimed by suppliers Euro Sport due to outstanding debts.

Returning to the aforementioned embargo, Wanderers will be without the services of Remi Matthews, Christian Doidge and Gary O'Neil for the visit of the League One side, unless prior dispensation is granted by both the EFL and Football Association.

After spending the first half of the campaign on loan, Matthews and Doidge had been due to sign on permanent deals from Norwich City and Forest Green Rovers, respectively, while O'Neil has verbally agreed to extend his short-term contract through until the end of the season.

The trio are currently in limbo, however, with those deals left unresolved at the time of writing, whilst it is also understood Lloyd Dyer's short-term stay has come to an end with Bolton not pursuing extended terms for the 36-year-old.

Changes are afoot ahead of the weekend tie, although Wanderers also have doubts over the availability of Jack Hobbs (knock), Marc Wilson (thigh), Andrew Taylor (calf) and Will Buckley (illness).

Those absences could open the door for the likes of Ben Williams, Pawel Olkowski, Erhun Oztumer, Luke Murphy and Yanic Wildschut to return, while there could be a senior debut in midfield for under-23 midfielder Joe Pritchard.

Parkinson will have other youth options at his disposal, with Jake Turner, Harry Brockbank and Connor Hall back at the club following loan spells elsewhere.

Bolton Wanderers: from: Alnwick, B Williams, Turner, Little, Beevers, Olkowski, Grounds, Wheater, Lowe, Vela, Oztumer, Ameobi, Buckley, Noone, Murphy, O'Neil, J Williams, Wildschut, Pritchard, Earing, Connell, Donaldson, Magennis, Hall

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Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Cheltenham Town 41 72
2 Cambridge United 41 71
3 Bolton Wanderers 41 70
4 Morecambe 41 66
5 Tranmere Rovers 41 65
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