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Anfield Awaits Wanderers In FA Cup Fourth Round

Having dispatched local rivals Wigan in the third round, Bolton now face a nostalgic trip to Anfield to face 7-time FA Cup winners Liverpool.

Third round hero Zach Clough will hope to repeat the trick at Anfield later this month
Third round hero Zach Clough will hope to repeat the trick at Anfield later this month
Paul Thomas/Getty Images

Tonight's FA Cup fourth round draw will have Bolton Wanderers fans reminiscing back to the glory days of 1993, when Bruce Rioch's side featuring the likes of Andy Walker, John McGinlay and David Lee knocked out then cup holders Liverpool at Anfield in a third round replay.

When Bolton return to Merseyside later this month the contest is unlikely to be as dramatic as that night, when McGinlay and Walker goals inspired a famous Whites giant-killing act. That wonderful 2-0 win in 1993 was followed ten years later with a 3-2 Bolton victory en route to the Carling Cup final in 2003, with goals on that occasion from Mario Jardel, Jay-Jay Okocha and a last minute Youri Djorkaeff penalty. Aside from those cup victories the Whites haven't won a league match at Anfield in over 60 years - not since Willie Moir and Dennis Stevens goals led them to a 2-1 win back in January 1954.

But Liverpool's form of late will certainly give Neil Lennon's spirited, resurgent side a great deal of hope. Liverpool only narrowly scraped past Wimbledon tonight thanks to an inspired performance from departing captain Steven Gerrard, and their shaky defence has looked there for the taking all season long - especially at set pieces.

It's also worth noting that Bolton are unbeaten against Liverpool in the FA Cup, albeit the two sides have only ever met each other twice in the famous competition back in that 1993 cup run. So with this in mind it's far from ridiculous to claim that Wanderers could pull off a cup shock.

Adding a little extra romance to this clash is the fact that former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey could well return to Anfield with Bolton. Heskey, who scored on his debut against Blackburn on Boxing Day, scored 60 goals in 223 games for Liverpool and, while the 36-year-old may lack the sharpness he had in those days, he could still pose a real challenge to the likes of Martin Skrtel, Kolo Toure and Dejan Lovren. I'm sure we'd all love to see a Heskey winner at Anfield.

Neil Lennon would be well advised to get the team working on set pieces ahead of the Anfield match-up, and it'll be intriguing to watch Josh Vela deal with the trickery of Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho, to see how Matt Mills and Dorian Dervitte handle opponents like Mario Balotelli or Rickie Lambert, and to witness Neil Danns and Darren Pratley pitting their wits up against Gerrard and Jordan Henderson.

Wanderers head to Anfield on the weekend of 24th and 25th January.