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Bolton Wanderers Preview (A) - December 5

Bolton Wanderers Preview (A) - December 5

SUNDERLAND kick-off their 2013 F.A Cup campaign with a trip to N.Power Championship side, Bolton Wanderers.

Following relegation to the second-tier last season the Trotters might have expected to return to the Barclays Premier League with a degree of ease this term.

However, the Championship is famed for its unpredictability and Bolton have found that out the hard way as they currently sit in 16th.

The club's form cost boss Owen Coyle his job in early October. Appointed in his place was flavour of the month, Dougie Freedman, who had helped Crystal Palace into a Play-Off position following a blistering start to the campaign.

A Palace legend, Freedman has only been in charge for 15 games at the Reebok Stadium, winning four, drawing five and losing six to date.

With seven goals from midfield, former Manchester United and Burnley winger Chris Eagles is Bolton's top-scorer and an almost ever-present with 25 league starts to his name this season.

The 27 year-old started out at Old Trafford and took in loan spells with Watford (twice), Sheffield Wednesday and Dutch outfit NEC Nijmegen before finally leaving the Theatre of Dreams for good in 2008.

Eagles was signed by then Clarets' boss Coyle, who paid a seven-figure sum to bring the winger to Turf Moor to spearhead his side's promotion push.

In three years at Turf Moor, Eagles made 87 league starts for the Clarets, notching 20 goals before defecting to Bolton in 2011 by following Coyle.

One-time Sunderland target Kevin Davies continues to plunder goals for the Trotters whilst leading the line - six in 23 Championship starts this term for the 35 year-old.

Never a frequent scorer, Davies' big strengths lie in what else he offers to the team. A respected leader and fearsome line-leader, the powerful forward makes room for others and brings team-mates into play with his movement and combative style.

With 73 goals in 325 league starts for the club, the Sheffield-born striker has proven a marvellous piece of business for the Trotters - especially as a free transfer.

A one-cap England international, Davies has been traded for over £9m during an 18-year professional career.

At the other end of the experience scale is Hungarian goalkeeper, Adam Bogdan.

The flame-haired stopper established himself as the Trotter's number one last term, taking over from long-serving gloveman Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Signed from Vasas in 2007, the 25 year-old is just one league appearance short of a half-century for the Lancashire outfit and is a full Hungarian international, winning four caps this term and 12 in total.

A one-match loan spell with Crewe Alexandra saw Bogdan make his English league debut in 2009 before returning to the Reebok to make his Premier League debut in 2010.

The 6'4 stopper endured a tough start to life as the Trotter's number one, conceding a goal from fellow goalkeeper Tim Howard last term as well as presiding over a number of thrashings as the club were relegated.

However, the Budapest-born stopper has come out the other side and has established himself firmly as the club's first-choice 'keeper.

Last season Bogdan scooped the club's 'Player of the Season' award as Bolton dropped back into the Championship.

Striker David N'Gog returned to action for the Trotters in their 1-0 defeat by Leeds United on New Years Day meaning Freedman has a full squad to pick from.

Martin O'Neill is without Wes Brown (ankle), Lee Cattermole (knee) and potentially John O'Shea.

Predicted line-ups:

Bolton Wanderers:
Bogdan; Mears, Ream, Knight, Alonso; Eagles, Andrews, Spearing, Pratley, Lee; K.Davies (c).

Sunderland: Mignolet; Gardner, Cuellar, Kilgallon, Rose; Johnson, Larsson, Colback, McClean; Sessegnon; Fletcher.

Referee: Mr M Jones.



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:safc123
Date:Friday January 4 2013
Time: 9:21AM

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