Everton hope to keep their chances of silverware alive for this season as they take the short trip to the Reebok to take on Championship side Bolton on Saturday afternoon. For Everton to advance, they are going to need to score which has been a tough task of late, as highlighted by a dour 0-0 draw with Southampton on Monday night, their 2nd 0-0 draw in succession, however, they had no trouble finding the back of the end in the 3rd round of the FA Cup as they put 5 past League 2 side Cheltenham Town. For Bolton, they are also coming off a 0-0 draw against high flyers Crystal Palace in the Championship, however, they will be looking for their 2nd Premier League scalp in the Cup as they knocked out Sunderland 2-0 in a replay to advance to the 4th round.
Everton centre back Sylvain Distin inked a 1yr extension during the week and was delighted saying
“I`m happy here. It`s a great club – I`ve said that from day one, I didn`t have any reason to leave and the Club wanted me to stay, so I`m happy that we could figure it out and that I`m staying for another season. It`s not only about football and it`s definitely not just about money. At my age it`s not the most important thing because you want to enjoy your life as well. That has happened to me at this Club – I`m happy and so are my family. There is a great atmosphere in the dressing room too. We work hard but it is great fun as well. For me that`s what I need because I want to enjoy my last few years of football.”
Bolton manager Dougie Freedman has taken confidence from the Sunderland win saying
“The opportunity to go up against a Premier League side at home is great and I feel that, given the way we`ve been performing lately, we`ve got a chance. We`ll be looking to take our recent performances into this game and hopefully we can win the game.’
“The match against Everton is very exciting for the fans first and foremost. I think we thoroughly deserved to go through against Sunderland; we played very well over the two games and worked hard to get this opportunity.
“In my opinion, we`re playing a team who are good enough to finish in the top four. Everton have a structure in place where every player knows what they`re doing and that means that we have to be fully prepared.
“David Moyes has done very well and not just this season, but we`ll give it our best shot and we`ve got a lot of quality in our squad. The victory over Sunderland should give us confidence and we`re looking forward to this game.”
Bolton Team News:
Bolton also could welcome back key players for the match. American Stuart Holden could be in line for a starting berth following his long recovery from a knee injury. Andy Lonergan is expected to between in between the sticks for Bolton with youngster Sordell expected to get the nod ahead of N’gog. The game will come too early for centre back David Wheater who is still revering from a long term injury.
Possible Starting XI: Lonergan, Mears, Alonso, Knight, Ricketts, Vela, Spearing, Eagles, Pratley, Afobe, Sordell
Player to watch: Marvin Sordell
The youngster is starting to find his feet in a Bolton shirt following a tough start to life at the Reebok. Starting to lead the line for the Wanderers and is showing his true potential. Although being in the Championship, he has already given headaches to Premier League defenders after scoring a brace in the previous round against Sunderland in a 2-0 win that saw them advance to this fixture. He will again be the one leading the line and hoping to shoot Bolton into the 5th round.
Everton Team News:
Everton received a massive boost with the return of Kevin Mirallas to first team action against Southampton on Monday night, whether he will start against Bolton however, will be up to David Moyes. However, Everton were dealt a blow with Seamus Coleman leaving the match early with a suspected thigh injury and is not expected to be risked for the match against Bolton. He joins others in the treatment room including Darron Gibson (thigh) and Tony Hibbert (calf).
Possible Starting XI: Howard, Baines, Distin, Jagielka, Neville, Osman, Fellaini, Pienaar, Naismith, Oviedo, Anichebe, Jelavic
Player to watch: Victor Anichebe
Never thought I would say this, but he is starting to develop into an important player for us. With Jelavic struggling to find the form he had when he joined a year ago, the Nigerian is taking his chances when they are given. Although he did not start against Southampton (rather surprisingly), when he came off the bench, he did make a big impact. This season he is starting to become a real nuisance for defenders, physically, the lad is capable with dealing with the most physical defenders in the league, however, the thing that has changed is his attitude and now is showing his true potential.
Match Facts & Stats
1. The match against Bolton will be David Moyes’ 500th in charge of Everton, a record only bettered by Harry Catterick (594) and Howard Kendall (542, over 3 spells)
2. This will be the first match between the two sides since Tim Howard scored from his own penalty box, however, Everton did go on to lose that match 2-1
3. It is the 125th anniversary of Everton’s first game, coincidentally against Bolton in the FA Cup, where it took 4 matches to decide who went through
4. In the last 13 FA Cup 4th round fixtures, Everton haven’t left the city of Liverpool, having played 12 at Goodison and the other at Anfield
5. After only having one 0-0 draw in the last 96 matches, Everton have recorded two 0-0’s in their last 2 games
After seeing Moyes field a full strength side against League 2 side Cheltenham in the 3rd round, I have no doubts he will do the same against Bolton. Everton are desperate for silverware and Moyes is as desperate as the supporters, his reign has deserved silverware and after a couple of near misses, he will be hoping this year is it. It will be a tough match at the Reebok, despite being relegated last season, Bolton will make it tough as always. Everton’s record at the Reebok isn’t the best, however, we should have too much quality for Bolton especially with a full strength side. I am going for a 3-0 win with Anichebe, Fellaini and Mirallas off the bench. COYB!!!!! BEEN FAR TOO LONG SINCE OUR LAST PIENCE OF SILVERWARE, COME ON LADS!!!!!