Without a win in five games a big Lancashire derby may well be the last thing Bolton Wanderers needed. Tonight they make the short trip to Rochdale, looking for a much-needed three points.
Wanderers haven't visited Spotland Stadium in the league in nearly three decades, since the two sides played out a 2-2 draw in Division 4 on 24th October 1987. The two sides haven't played each other in any competitive game since December 1992, when Bolton beat Rochdale 4-0 in an FA Cup Second Round clash.
Wanderers are without Mr Dependable Mark Beevers tonight, with the injured centre-half replaced by full debutant Tom Thorpe - a former Manchester United youth team captain. Keshi Anderson also returns to the starting lineup following his ridiculous suspension for his ridiculous sending off and plays alongside Jamie Proctor, who is so goal-shy that he genuinely makes Gary Madine look like an actual Goal Machine. Madine is still injured by the way, and Zach Clough is making yet another attempt at the world's slowest injury comeback. Chris Taylor also comes back into the starting lineup, with Josh Vela dropping to the bench, which suggests Phil Parkinson may be switching to a flat 4-4-2. Shock horror.
I have absolutely no idea how Rochdale will be lining up. They appear to have a forward (according to Wikipedia) playing at left-back, in Joe Bunney, and have no fewer than four strikers on the bench (according to Wikipedia). I'd suggest they have something of a defensive injury / suspension crisis.
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