Bolton Wanderers face Middlesbrough at Toughsheet Stadium in the Second Round of 2023-24 Carabao Cup.
Victory would see Bolton advance to the Third Round for the first time since 2017-18 season, whilst Middlesbrough are looking to advance beyond this stage for the first time in five seasons – having last achieved that feat in 2018-19 season,
Bolton have no fresh injury concerns to report after their 1-1 draw at Burton last weekend, with manager – Ian Evatt set to ring the changes.
Middlesbrough will be without defender, Tommy Smith after he was red carded during their Championship defeat at West Brom on Saturday.
Matt Clarke (back) and Anfernee Dijksteel (leg) both remain absent.
When is Kick-Off?
Bolton host Middlesbrough at the Toughsheet Stadium in a 7:45pm BST kick-off on Tuesday 29 August, albeit untelevised live in the UK.
- Bolton have lost each of their two previous meetings against Middlesbrough in this competition (L2), including in the 2003-04 Final.
- Middlesbrough are playing away to Bolton for the first time in this competition – having previously won at home in November 1997 then in Cardiff in February 2004 in that season’s Final.
- Both of Bolton’s losses against Middlesbrough in this competition were by 2-1 results.
- Bolton have kept just one clean sheet in their last five Carabao Cup ties at home (W2, D1, L2), which came in a goalless draw against Barnsley in August 2021 but won on penalties.
- Middlesbrough have won two of their last five away ties in the Carabao Cup (W2, D1, L2).
Having enjoyed a strong start to the season, Bolton have hit a rut in their last two matches with five goals conceded highlighting a defensive vulnerability which has crept into their play that Boro should look to target whilst being wary of Bolton’s attacking threat.
Middlesbrough however have their own defensive issues to deal with after conceding four sloppy goals through lacklustre marking and pressing in their defeat at West Brom, which is disappointing after how well they did last season.
Changes though are expected for both teams but if Boro can play like they did in their First Round win at Huddersfield, they might just have the edge but I do expect a tough scrap with goals at both ends.
Prediction: Bolton 1-2 Middlesbrough