Watford v Bolton Wanderers - Preview

  • February 01, 2013 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/742ba

Bolton return to league action on Saturday afternoon, when Dougie Freedman's side take on Watford at Vicarage Road.

As Wanderers were in FA Cup action last weekend, a fortnight has passed since the goalless draw at Crystal Palace. In fact, just three of Bolton's six fixtures in January were league outings - with the club without a win in the competition since the end of December.

Cup success over Sunderland, followed up by a narrow defeat against Everton, has given the Trotters a new sense of belief and, with the addition of three new players on transfer deadline day, there is cause for optimism.

Medo Kamara, Steve De Ridder and Cian Bolger all joined the club on deadline day, adding to the earlier captures of Craig Davies, Craig Dawson and Jan Gregus.

Bolger and Gregus are unlikely to be involved in first-team action in the immediate future, but Freedman looks set to include the other four in his matchday squad for the trip to Hertfordshire.

With Wanderers short on defensive numbers, Dawson is in contention to make his debut at centre-half. Zat Knight and Tim Ream have forged an impressive partnership in recent weeks, but with Matt Mills still sidelined with a thigh injury, Dawson could give one of them a break.

Craig Davies hasn't managed too much time on the pitch since his £300,000 move from Barnsley and is expected to be named on the bench once again, with Freedman likely to pick between Kevin Davies and former Watford striker Marvin Sordell as his lone forward. Benik Afobe has returned to Arsenal, after his disappointing loan period was cancelled.

Chris Eagles and Lee Chung-Yong have enjoyed unrivalled starting roles in recent games, but De Ridder and Gregg Wylde have been included in the squad and could be thrown in at the deep end.

Keith Andrews is struggling to overcome an Achilles problem. so Josh Vela looks set to partner Jay Spearing in the defensive midfield role - with Kamara having to settle for a place on the bench.

Marcos Alonso will hope to put speculation over his future to one side and continue at left-back, while Tyrone Mears and Sam Ricketts will both be hoping to get the nod on the other side of the Wanderers defence.

Adam Bogdan is expected to return in goal, taking the place of Andy Lonergan - who featured against Everton last weekend.

Bolton are still without the services of David Wheater, Mark Davies and Mills, while Stuart Holden looks set to remain on the sidelines - as he continues his progress towards a first-team return.

Watford boss Gianfranco Zola is expected to make changes to the side that lost 2-0 at Bristol City on Tuesday night.

Zola made six changes for the game at Ashton Gate, as the Hornets failed to score for the first time in 14 matches.

The 30-goal striking partnership of Matej Vydra and Troy Deeney are expected to be recalled, while Nat Chalobah, Marco Cassetti, Lloyd Doyley and Christian Battocchio are all hoping to return.

Ikechi Anya and Neuton are will be handed late fitness tests on hamstring and back injuries, respectively, but there will be no place for Tommie Hoban, who continues to struggle with an Achilles problem.

Bolton Wanderers: from: Bogdan, Lonergan, Lainton, Lynch, Mears, Alonso, Ream, Knight, Dawson, Ricketts, Riley, McKee, Bolger, McQuade, Eagles, Andrews, Wylde, Spearing, Pratley, Holden, Vela, Chung-Yong, Gregus, Blakeman, Lester, De Ridder, Kamara, Ngog, K Davies, Sordell, C Davies, Eaves, Sampson, Odelusi

Sky Bet Championship Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
20 Birmingham City 5 5
21 Huddersfield Town 5 4
22 Bolton Wanderers 5 1
23 Fulham 5 1
24 Blackpool 5 0
View Full Standings >>

Poll

Who was Bolton's Man of the Match against Leeds?
16.72% Jay Spearing
14.79% Lee Chung-Yong
10.93% Joe Mason
9.65% Adam Bogdan
9% Hayden White
6.43% Craig Davies
5.79% David Wheater
5.14% Dorian Dervite
4.82% Jermaine Beckford
4.5% Liam Feeney
4.5% Matt Mills
3.22% Neil Danns
3.22% Tim Ream
1.29% Medo Kamara