Team News: Bolton Wanderers v Reading

  • January 29, 2019 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton face a defensive crisis ahead of Tuesday's visit of Reading, in a game many are billing as a relegation six-pointer.

Having bowed out of the FA Cup with defeat at Bristol City on Friday, Wanderers host the Royals in a rearranged fixture where both sides could move out of the bottom three with a victory.

Phil Parkinson's side would require a five-goal win for that to happen, so will likely end the night below the line, but it has been keeping goals out that has posed a problem in recent weeks.

A 2-1 loss at the weekend was the fifth consecutive match in which the Trotters had conceded at least twice, adding to a poor run of form which has seen them register just two clean sheets in their last 20 outings in all competitions.

Things don't get any easier, however, with first-choice goalkeeper Ben Alnwick a major doubt as he continues to battle against an ongoing hip injury.

Remi Matthews deputised at Ashton Gate last week, with veteran stopper Ben Williams listed amongst the substitutes, but Parkinson also has selection issues in defence.

Marc Wilson suffered a dead leg in training last week and was forced to miss the FA Cup reversal after limping out of the warm-up, meaning Mark Little was drafted in at an unfamiliar central defensive role.

Craig Noone featured at left-back after Jonathan Grounds was taken ill on the eve of the tie, although Andrew Taylor could return after recovering from recent issues with his calf.

Jack Hobbs and Pawel Olkowski are likely to start, although Jason Lowe may have to drop deep with both David Wheater (knee) and Mark Beevers (Achilles) struggling to prove their fitness ahead of kick-off.

With Joe Williams (thigh) and Yanic Wildschut (ankle) still on the sidelines there could be further opportunities for under-23 duo Luca Connell and Joe Pritchard, although Josh Vela could return after missing the last two games following the birth of his first child.

Bolton Wanderers: from: Alnwick, Matthews, B Williams, Little, A Taylor, Beevers, Hobbs, Olkowski, Wilson, Grounds, Wheater, Lowe, Vela, Oztumer, Ameobi, Buckley, Noone, Murphy, O'Neil, Dyer, Pritchard, Connell, Donaldson, Magennis, Hall

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
View Full Standings >>


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