Football has a funny knack of throwing up unexpected reunions. We were all naturally delighted when Big Sam Allardyce’s undoubted football management talents to do the were recognised by his country - but little did we think he’d be back at his former home of the Reebok Stadium within a matter of six months.
But that is exactly the case as Bolton Wanderers welcome Big Sam’s Crystal Palace in the FA Cup Third Round today, with the former Whites boss still looking for his first win after three games in charge of The Eagles.
Now you’ll have to bear with me today, as six hours ago I landed in Heathrow Airport following three weeks in Vietnam, and I’ve not slept in nearly two days - so don’t blame me if we get a few facts wrong / I fall asleep listening to the dull monetones of Bolton v Crystal Palace.
Anyway, the team news. Wanderers make one change, with James Henry coming in for Sammy Ameobi, who has returned to Newcastle United following the end of his loan deal. That means Max Clayton remaind on the bench today after scoring a last minute equaliser at Coventry City.
There’s another returning Wanderer in the Palace line-up, with Chung-Yong Lee starting alongside Loic Remy, who makes his debut for the Eagles - so stick a quid on both of them to score today. They name at least three development squad players on their bench, alongside the experienced Yohan Cabaye and Andros Townsend.
Here are today’s starting lineups, and we’ll bring you updates of all the action from the Macron in the comments section below. Please feel free to let us know your thoughts, and keep me company in my jetlagged state.
Ben Alnwick; Lawrie Wilson, David Wheater, Mark Beevers, Andrew Taylor; Jay Spearing, Tom Thorpe; James Henry, Josh Vela, Zach Clough; Gary Madine.
Substitutes: Jamie Proctor, Max Clayton, Chris Taylor, Liam Trotter, Derik Osede, Dean Moxey, Jake Turner.
Julian Speroni; Joel Ward, Damien Delaney, Martin Kelly, Zeki Fryers; Mathieu Flamini, Jordon Mutch, Joe Ledley; Chung-Yong Lee, Fraizer Campbell; Loic Remy.
Substitues: Kleton Perntrou, James Tomkins, Yohan Cabaye, Andros Townsend, Sulley Kaikai, Noor Husin, Aaron Win-Bassaka.