Port Vale vs Bolton Wanderers preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
(Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)

League Two strugglers Port Vale face the difficult task of ending Bolton Wanderers' 10-match unbeaten run at Vale Park on Saturday.

The Valiants are without a win in seven games and are still winless under manager Darrell Clarke, who has been in charge for six of them.

Clarke was appointed in mid-February and has seen his side struggle for goals, scoring only three and conceding six. 

The return of players from injury could see Vale's form improve as they enter their final 12 fixtures. They sit 21st in the table, six points above the relegation zone.

Bolton were favourites with some bookmakers to win the division but had a slow start to the campaign.

However, a four-game winning streak in November and their current form means Ian Evatt's men occupy the final play-off spot.

Shrewd signings in the January transfer window has undoubtedly contributed to their unbeaten run, which has seen eight wins and two draws.

  • Teams news

Vale defender James Gibbons remains sidelined with a hamstring injury and is likely to miss the next four to six weeks.

Tom Pope is also out after breaking his arm and sustaining shoulder ligament damage against Sunderland in January.

Christian Montano could make the squad after returning to training.

The only injuries for the Trotters are long-term absentees Dennis Politic and Liam Edwards.

  • Predicted lineups

Port Vale

Brown; Mills, Legge, Smith, Crookes; Worrall, Joyce, Conlon, Rodney; Gurthrie, Swan. (4-4-2)

Bolton Wanderers

Gilks; Jones, Santos, Baptiste, John; Williams, Lee; Delfouneso, Sarcevic, Afolayan; Doyle. (4-2-3-1)

  • Ones to watch

David Worrall – Port Vale

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Vale welcomed Worrall back to the team on Tuesday after he missed the previous four outings through injury. The 30-year-old winger has the most assists in League Two with nine and averages an impressive 2.2 key passes per game (WhoScored.com). Two of his assists came in the previous meeting with Bolton, which also saw him score one of his three goals this season.

Eoin Doyle – Bolton Wanderers

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Doyle won the golden boot and League Two's player of the year last season after scoring 25 goals in 28 games for Swindon Town. He has continued his form into this campaign and is Bolton's top scorer with 14 goals. One of them came against Vale in December, with five coming in his previous 10 appearances.

  • Previous meetings

The meeting in December saw a surprising result, as Vale entered the contest on a five-game losing streak while Bolton had won four in a row. Nonetheless, the Valiants left the University of Bolton Stadium 6-3 winners after going 6-1 up in the second half before Wanderers pulled a couple back.

That is the only win Vale have had in the previous five meetings, with Bolton recording four victories.

Earlier in the season...

  • How to watch

The match starts at 15:00 GMT and is available to watch for £10 through Vale's or Bolton's iFollow channel.

  • What the managers have said

Darrell Clarke via port-vale.co.uk

Bolton have totally changed their system since the last time we played them, they’ve had a massive amount of success with that, and they are moving in the right direction, so we’re under no illusions that this is going to be a very tough test, but we’ll be looking to put on a performance that’ll get us the three points.

Ian Evatt via bwfc.co.uk:

We just want to win the game, it's a simple as that. Yes we do remember what happened in December, but that isn't going to define our season.

“What will define our season is how we finish these next 12 games because we've given ourselves an opportunity. We didn't have that opportunity then.

"In terms of how a season plays out I'd much rather be in the form we've got now with the squad I've got available now than going the first couple of months unbeaten.

"It means more. It's more important, there's more on it. Trophies are given out in May and not September, October, November. We just have to maintain our focus, keep our hard work, keep being humble, respect everybody and Port Vale will be a challenging and difficult game, no doubt. But we have to make sure we keep hitting those standards that we're starting to set for ourselves."

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