Bolton v Wigan Athletic - Preview

  • December 09, 2007 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton can push themselves away from the relegation zone with a good result against local rivals Wigan.

Wanderers are currently languishing above the bottom three on goal difference, with three points against their nearest rivals they have the chance to lift themselves up to 13th.

Gary Megson's side go into the game on the back of a well-deserved 1-0 victory over Crvena Zvezda on Thursday, while Wigan visit the Reebok off the back of a 1-1 draw with Manchester City last weekend.

The result was the first time the Latics had picked up a point in nine games, and the first under the new management of Steve Bruce.

Despite victory in Europe during the week, Megson is expected to recall his big guns for the game, with Nicolas Anelka, Kevin Nolan, Kevin Davies, Ricardo Gardner, Jussi Jaaskelainen and Andy O'Brien back in the squad after being rested for the trip to Serbia.

Danny Guthrie was a substitute in Belgrade and is expected to start in midfield alongside Nolan, but Gavin McCann will be hopeful of keeping his place after a man of the match performance, including the only goal seperated the two sides.

Andranik Teymourian also impressed in Serbia, and the Iranian impressed last time the two sides met, scoring twice as Wanderers claimed a 3-1 victory at the JJB Stadium back in April.

Stelios Giannakopoulos will also be pushing for a start after a good display, but may have to settle for a place on the bench as Megson looks to choose his strongest possible side.

Jaaskelainen will take the place of Ali Al Habsi in goal, even though the Oman international kept a clean sheet against Crvena Zvezda, and Andy O'Brien is expected to partner Abdoulaye Meite in defence, at the expense of Lubomir Michalik.

Blerim Dzemaili, Heidar Helguson and Ricardo Vaz Te remain on the sidelines, but Dzemaili may be in contention for a first-team place in the next few weeks after a run-out for the reserves in midweek.

Wigan have got few selection problems, as new manager Steve Bruce looks for his first win in charge of the club in only his second game.

Captain Mario Melchiot serves the first game of a three-match ban after his sending off against Manchester City, while Emile Heskey is hopeful of starting up front after a hamstring injury forced him out of the same game.

Goalkeeper Chris Kirkland is expected to start ahead of Bolton-born Mike Pollitt in goal, but there will be questions over Kirkland's fitness after problems over the last few weeks.

Antoine Sibierski turned down a move to the Reebok over the summer, but will have to settle for a place on the bench as the visitors go in search of their first win in 10 Premier League games.

Bolton Wanderers:
from: Jaaskelainen, Al Habsi, Hunt, A O'Brien, Meite, Cid, Gardner, Giannakopoulos, Guthrie, McCann, Nolan, Alonso, Speed, Teymourian, Wilhelmsson, Davies, Anelka, Diouf, Samuel, Al Habsi, Michalik, Braaten.

Wigan Athletic: from: Kirkland, Granqvist, Bramble, Kilbane, Cotterill, Sibierski, Landzaat, Scharner, Skoko, Koumas, Brown, Taylor, Bent, Heskey, Valencia, Aghahowa, Pollitt, Hall, Olembe.

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Burnden Aces's prediction: 2-2

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
2 Peterborough United 4 9
3 Portsmouth 4 8
4 Bolton Wanderers 4 8
5 Exeter City 4 7
6 Charlton Athletic 4 7
View Full Standings >>


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