The magic of the FA Cup is, well, not really that alive and well as Bolton Wanderers make the trip south-west to face Bristol City this evening. Both teams have an opportunity to become the first name in the hat for the 5th Round with a victory - given it’s the first match in the round to kick-off (that is, unless we get mega amounts of injury-time).
But FA Cup success is probably the last thing on Wanderers manager Phil Parkinson’s agenda right now. Having had a sly dig at fans for focusing their passion on ousting the club’s ‘chairman’ from power on Monday night, Parky will be hoping for a good reaction from his players tonight.
A 2-0 defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion was probably a little tough for him to take, given the team were well in contention for long periods of the match. But once again a lack of cutting edge, creativity and finishing - which isn’t a great trio to be lacking for any football team - was Wanderers’ Achilles heel, and that is unlikely to change this evening.
Parky hands full debuts to Luca Connell and Joe Pritchard, with the latter likely to start in midfield alongside Jason Lowe and Luke Murphy, and the former providing wide support to Josh Magennis alongside Craig Noone. At the back, Mark Little comes in at right-back and I’m expecting Marc Wilson to play at left-back - which is a little bit scary. Remi Matthews comes in to play in goal.
The hosts have made less changes but hand a full debut to Chelsea loanee Kasey Palmer, who scored on his debut as a substitute against Bolton two weeks ago. Brilliant. Famara Diedhiou, who missed a host of chances in the previous meeting, starts up front
Here are tonight’s starting line-ups. You can follow all the action from Ashton Gate in the Comments section below and over on Twitter.
Bristol City (4-5-1): Frank Fielding; Jay Dasilva, Bailey Wright, Tomas Kalas, Nathan Baker; Callum O’Dowda, Marlon Pack, Niclas Eliasson, Joe Morrell, Kasey Palmer; Famara Diedhiou
Substitutes: Max O’Leary, Eros Pisano, Josh Brownhill, Andreas Weimann, Lloyd Kelly, Jamie Paterson, Mohamed Eisa
Bolton Wanderers (4-3-2-1): Remi Matthews; Mark Little, Jack Hobbs, Mark Beevers, Marc Wilson; Jason Lowe, Luke Murphy, Joe Pritchard; Craig Noone, Luca Connell; Josh Magennis
Substitutes: Clayton Donaldson, Sammy Ameobi, Will Buckley, Gary O’Neil, Pawel Olkowski, Andrew Taylor, Ben Williams