Bolton Wanderers face a tough ask as they make the trip to Bristol City in the FA Cup Fourth Round this evening. Wanderers have lost their last three trips to Ashton Gate, conceding 10 goals in the process, including a 2-1 defeat two weeks ago.
In fact, Bolton have only won one of the last six clashes between the two sides, going back to a 2-1 win at Bristol nearly six years ago. And in the back of many fans’ minds will be the 6-0 mauling at Ashton Gate in March 2016.
The very first of the clubs’ 63 meetings also took place in the FA Cup some 116 years ago. Wanderers fans will be hoping tonight won’t be a repeat of that occasion, as Bristol recorded a 5-0 victory at Bolton. The only other time the two have faced off in the competition was in the third round 40 years ago, when the Robins once again came out on top with a 3-0 victory.
Bolton haven’t reached the fifth round of the FA Cup since way back in 2012, when they exited the competition at the Quarter Final stage amid the Fabrice Muamba incident at Tottenham Hotspur. They’ve since reached the fourth round three times, losing to Everton in 2013, Cardiff in 2014 and in a replay against Liverpool in 2015.
However, Bristol City have failed to reach the fifth round since 2001, and have lost their last three fourth round ties.
Phil Parkinson is likely to make a host of changes tonight, with a view to resting players that played in Monday night’s defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion for the realistically much more important league clash with Reading on Tuesday. But, a cup run would go some way towards clearing the vast amount of doom and gloom surrounding the club.
Personally, I’d like to see Joe Pritchard - who I thought looked relatively bright in a debut cameo on Monday night - get a chance to impress, and see us have a real go at it and play the pace of Connor Hall off Josh Magennis. What have we got to lose? But, of course, I realise there’s absolutely zero chance of Parky actually doing that.
Is this the year we break our FA Cup hoodoo? And can we score our first ever FA Cup goal against Bristol City? Or will it be another routine victory for the hosts? Personally, I can’t see it being anything other than the latter.
Can’t make it to Ashton Gate? No fear, you can follow all the action with us via the Live Feed on our website and on Twitter.
Bristol City: 4/9
Bolton Wanderers: 9/1