Let us take you back to the start of October at the Bet365 Stadium in Stoke. Referee Jeremy Simpson had an absolute nightmare as he disallowed a perfectly good Josh Magennis equaliser and basically handed Stoke City a victory.
Bolton have only won one and lost three of their last five clashes with Stoke, having only lost two of the previous 14 meetings, but that solitary victory was a 5-0 revenge hammering the last time The Potters came to town in November 2011. In fact, Bolton haven’t lost at home to Stoke since way back in 1990, which is the only home defeat to today’s opponents since 1963.
Phil Parkinson changes things up from that win over Rotherham on Boxing Day, bringing in Jonathan Grounds at left-back and Josh Vela in midfield in place of goalscoring hero Gary O’Neil, who doesn’t even make the bench. Christian Doidge starts again, with wide support likely from Clayton Donaldson and Sammy Ameobi. Strangely, Erhun Oztumer is once again nowhere to be seen.
Gary Rowett’s side boasts substantial Premier League experience, with Benik Afobe leading the line flanked by James McClean and Tom Ince and Joe Allen and Sam Clucas joined in midfield by former Brentford man Ryan Woods. A srtrong looking back four sees Ashley Williams and Ryan Shawcross in the middle, with Bruno Martins Indi likely to start in an unfamiliar left-back role.
Bolton Wanderers (4-3-3): Ben Alnwick; Jason Lowe, David Wheater, Mark Beevers, Jonathan Grounds; Marc Wilson, Josh Vela, Joe Williams; Sammy Ameobi, Christian Doidge, Clayton Donaldson
Substitutes: Josh Magennis, Craig Noone, Will Buckley, Luke Murphy, Jack Hobbs, Pawel Olkowski, Remi Matthews
Stoke City (4-3-3): Jack Butland; Tom Edwards, Ryan Shawcross, Ashley Williams, Bruno Martins Indi; Ryan Woods, Joe Allen, Sam Clucas; James McClean, Benik Afobe, Tom Ince
Substitutes: Adam Federici, Saido Berahino, Peter Crouch, Peter Etebo, Tyrese Campbell, Darren Fletcher, Cuco Martina