In order to appreciate the difference between Wednesday's FA Cup tie at the Macron Stadium and the previous match at Anfield, on only need examine Bolton Wanderers' team sheet. Adam Bogdan started in goal at Anfield (and had a blinder). He is out with an ankle injury. Darren Pratley started in the center of midfield at Anfield. He is out for six to eight weeks with a hamstring tear. Emile Heskey started at forward at Anfield. He is out with a hamstring injury. Jay Spearing cam off the bench at Anfield. He is now on loan at Blackburn. Conor Wilkinson came on as a sub at Anfield. He is now on loan at Oldham Athletic.
Relax, you might say, Neil Lennon has made seven new signings since then. Unfortunately, only players that were registered with their club prior to the first encounter are eligible for this match. That means that Ben Amos, Adam Le Fondre, Rochinha, Barry Bannan, Simeon Slavchev, Filip Twardzik, and Saidy Janko are all unavailable to face Liverpool. This will leave Mr. Lennon with quite a selection dilemma.
There is good news though. Young Zach Clough , who has scored three goals in two appearances (and won two Lion of Vienna Suite MOTM awards) will be fit and ready to play. That alone will put a smile on Wanderers' supporters faces, and a spring in their step as they head into the stadium.
As for our opponents, Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers rested several players last month when the two sides met, and he seems likely to do so again. Former Bolton Loanee Daniel Sturridge has just made his return from injury and could see some time on the pitch, but he is still short of match fitness and unlikely to start.
This match will once again be televised, and expect Bolton to use the opportunity as an advertisement to a wider audience that football in the northwest is once again on the upswing.