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FA Cup preview: Bolton Wanderers v. Everton | Trotters need to draw on fighting spirit

Alex Livesey

The last time Everton and Bolton Wanderers met, it was at Goodison Park just over a year ago on 5 January, 2012. The trotters would eave with an important three points on the day thanks to goals from David Ngog and Gary Cahill, but not before Everton drew first blood. Many of you will remember Tim Howard's long ball that took a very fortunate bounce over Adam Bogdan and into the back of the net.

Bolton will need to draw on that fighting spirit once again to beat high-flying Everton in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday. The Toffees sit in a very impressive 5th place in the Premier League, just three points out of a spot in Europe. Marouane Fellaini is the club's leading goalscorer with eight and leads the table of elbows to opposition players' faces. However, his only goal in the last seven games came in Everton's third round drubbing of League Two side Cheltenham Town. Nikica Jelavic is another attacking threat that the Trotters will have to be mindful of. The Croatian forward has the team's second-highest goal tally at six but has only scored once in his last nine matches with that goal also coming in the Cheltenham match.

The Toffees will be boosted by the return of Kevin Mirallas. The versatile winger/forward played his first match in over a month last Monday in the scoreless draw with Southampton but only saw 24 minutes. He will very likely see additional time against the Trotters. Seamus Coleman was hurt in that match with the Saints and could easily miss out on Bolton by joining Darron Gibson and Tony Hibbert in the sick bay.

Bolton will be without Keith Andrews who, according to Dougie Freedman, is dealing with a thigh injury that is a direct result of his recent achilles troubles. Stu Holden and Josh Vela, both of whom saw time against Sunderland in Bolton's 0-2 win at the Stadium of Light, could be given extended time. Vela saw about 73 minutes of action in that match and a further 15 in Bolton's 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace.

The Trotters will surely start Andy Lonergan in goal once more after his pair of blistering performances against the Black Cats. Lonergan has a bit of an interesting history with Everton who took him on for a training stint (and under the wing of Tim Howard) but were unable to sign him. After being deemed surplus at Preston North End, Lonergan moved to Leeds United.

Whether Bolton go with their fit pair of central defenders remains to be seen though. Tim Ream has done well in his last few matches but whether Dougie risks playing him is anyone's guess. New boy Craig Dawson, whose signing was completed yesterday, will miss the match due to the fact that he is cup-tied. Dawson played just three minutes for West Bromwich Albion in the third round of the FA Cup against QPR but it rules him out of any further dates. Tom Eaves and Gregg Wylde are in the same boat after both played in the FA Cup with their respective loan sides.

Marvin Sordell should feature in this match as it is his three goals in the two legs against Sunderland that really allowed Bolton to push on. Craig Davies, who signed for Bolton a few weeks ago, was handed his debut last weekend against Crystal Palace. The striker only saw six minutes of action at the end but, by all accounts, looked busy even when he was not on the ball.

For a little bit of history, do have a look at Steve Thompson's piece about Everton's first-ever visit to the Reebok Stadium in 1997.