Liverpool travel 40 miles to the Macron Stadium on Wednesday night to face Bolton as the two teams aim to progress to the 5th Round of the FA Cup where a trip to Selhurst Park awaits the victors.
The two sides played out a goalless draw at Anfield just over a week ago when Adam Bogdan put in an extraordinary display to deny the Reds a comfortable win.
Liverpool were knocked out by Chelsea after extra time in the Capital One Cup semi-final after a spirited display and England’s most prestigious cup competition presents the best chance for Brendan Rodgers’ and his side to win a silverware this season.
Bolton have suffered a loss in form in recent times as they have leaked in goals in their two games since the stalemate at Anfield. Rotherham put four past them in a 4-2 defeat before they were held by Wolves at home in a 2-2 draw.
Neil Lennon is yet to lose a game at the Macron Stadium, but Liverpool have been in great form of late and will be expecting to return home with a win especially as star striker Daniel Sturridge is expected to feature once again having netted within 10 minutes of his return against West Ham.
Adam Bogdan suffered an ankle injury in training on Friday and will be out of action for six weeks. Emile Heskey is a doubt with a hamstring injury along with both Craig and Mark Davies.
Darren Pratley suffered a hamstring injury against Wolves in their last match and will see him miss Wednesday’s match. Max Clayton is the only long term absentee while and Chung-Yong Lee will also be unavailable as he recovers from a hairline fracture.
Brad Jones and John Flanagan continue to recover from injuries as Brendan Rodgers is close to having a full squad to choose from. Daniel Sturridge made a goalscoring return against West Ham after being out with muscular injuries for five months but he is unlikely to be handed a start.
Kolo Toure has reached the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast while Jordon Ibe is cup-tied.
Bolton: 4-3-1-2: Lonergan; Dervite, Mills, Ream; Feeney, Danns, Trotter, Vela, Moxey; Clough, Fondre
Liverpool: 3-4-2-1: Mignolet; Johnson, Skrtel, Sakho; Manquillo, Lucas, Allen, Enrique; Lallana, Gerrard; Sterling
Last Five Meetings
24 Jan 2015 Liverpool 0 – 0 Bolton FA Cup
21 Jan 2012 Bolton 3 – 1 Liverpool Premier League
27 Aug 2011 Liverpool 3 – 1 Bolton Premier League
01 Jan 2011 Liverpool 2 – 1 Bolton Premier League
31 Oct 2010 Bolton 0 – 1 Liverpool Premier League
- Liverpool have lost just one of their last 12 matches against Bolton in all competitions
- Liverpool have lost just once in their last 12 games in all competitions.
- Bolton have lost just twice in their last 15 matches in all competitions.
- Bolton have conceded six goals in their last two games while Liverpool have conceded two goals in their last six games.
Bolton: Zach Clough
The 19-year-old is fresh from a memorable brace on his senior league debut against Wolves which followed his goalscoring debut in the FA Cup against Wigan in the last round in Bolton’s 1-0 win.
Having watched the 0-0 draw at Anfield with his family on TV, Clough will be hoping to become a Bolton hero as they look to upset the odds and shock the Premier League giants.
The Manchester City fan has been tied down to a two-year-contract and will be looking to repay the faith showed by Lennon and the club.
The Denton-born striker curled in a majestic finish against Wolves before showing quick feet in the penalty box as curled a fine effort past Carl Ikeme.
The youngster has been highly rated for quite some time now and was pleased with his efforts.
“I’ve been popping goals in for a long time. I’ve been here since I was eight years old, and worked under some great coaches.
“Being involved in a game live on Match of the Day would be a dream come true. The whole nation will be watching.
“But I don’t really feel nervous I just take it in my stride. I won’t have a sleepless night if the boss tells me on Tuesday I’m playing on Wednesday. I can’t wait.”
Wednesday night could be a historic day in his career as he looks set to announce himself to the watching world.
Liverpool: Steven Gerrard
The Liverpool captain continues on his farewell tour with a trip to the Macron Stadium next as he aims to finish his Anfield career with a trip to Wembley on his 35th birthday.
After being rested in the league game against West Ham, he will look to add to his FA Cup brace against Wimbledon earlier last month and fire his side into the next round.
Gerrard will be played as one of the two attacking players behind the striker and will be drifting around the Bolton penalty box as he looks to create chances for Sterling as well as getting on the end of a few himself.
There has been a lot of talk about the captain’s game time being managed by Rodgers as played an exhausting 120 minutes at the Stamford Bridge last Tuesday, but this will be his 700th appearance in a Liverpool shirt, becoming only the third person to do so for the club.
His manager had the following to say: “It’s an incredible achievement and I’m not sure it will happen again.”
“His life and journey here have been remarkable and you see how committed and focused he still is. It is absolutely incredible and there are more appearances to come.”
Gerrard will be hoping to help his side progress to the next round on his landmark day.
Prediction: Bolton under Neil Lennon are going to prove just as resilient as they did at Anfield a couple of weeks back and Liverpool will find it really hard to break them down again. The Premier League side’s finishing frustrated them last time around, and they’ll have to improve on it if they are to secure qualification to the next round inside normal time.