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Preview: Port Vale vs Bolton Wanderers

Wanderers head to Stoke to take on Port Vale

Bolton Wanderers v Port Vale - Papa John’s Trophy EFL Trophy Photo by Dave Howarth - CameraSport via Getty Images

We head to Vale Park in rude health, after 8 goals and just one conceded in a week of conviviality at the UniBol.

The only question mark hovers over young midfielder George Thomason, who was rather harshly sent off in the dying embers of the game on Tuesday evening, a red card Ian Evatt has confirmed that we will appeal, given that George only went in one footed and seemed to win the ball. We’ve won the last three appeals for red cards, so I hope to see a similar outcome.

He would only have commanded a place on the bench anyhow, and it is the area we are most stacked in too. I am also unsure as to when any potential suspension would kick in and for which games it would apply to.

Barring the recovering Josh Sheehan, Lloyd Isgrove, Eoin Toal and striker Dion Charles, there are no more injuries to contend with, although Declan John’s poor showing at left wing-back, leading to his HT withdrawal, was put down to a bout of illness. Whether he recovers in time or not, I can’t see Evatt looking past Jack Iredale for that role anyway, given his performance in that match and the added solidity he gives us there.

Vale have boosted their squad and their main positions of need in the past 24 hours with the smart signings of Ellis Harrison, having worked with Darrell Clarke before at Gas, and of Jack Stevens, who you assume will come in for Aidan Stone in goal.

All things, including most peoples acca’s, point to a win on the EFL’s largest pitch. But football doesn’t bloody work like that…

No prediction from me. Too nervous that we will balls up our good work against a side that led 6-1 after an hour on our patch on 1/12/2020, albeit both teams were under very different guises.