Bolton Wanderers v Wolves - Preview

  • December 31, 2011 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton will bring 2011 to a close on New Year's Eve when they host Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium.

The calendar year has been somewhat disappointing for Owen Coyle and his side, with the Trotters registering only nine victories from 36 Premier League games.

It comes as no surprise to see them end 2011 in the relegation zone, but they can sneak up on their rivals with victory over Wolves, who lie just four points above Wanderers.

In a season where injuries have helped to dampen the mood at the Reebok, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel.

After ten months out with an Achilles injury, Sam Ricketts made his return to the first team picture in the Boxing Day defeat to Newcastle United.

Ricketts was an unused substitute against the Magpies, but with Dedryck Boyata out of form at right-back, the Wales international could make his return to first team action.

Fellow full-backs Gretar Steinsson and Joe Riley are also available after recovering from illness and injury, respectively.

Steinsson has recovered from a stomach complaint, while Riley is available after missing more than a month due to a hamstring strain.

The big decision for Coyle will be who he selects in central defence. Coyle confirmed on Friday that Gary Cahill is in talks with Chelsea after the two clubs agreed a fee.

Cahill is expected to start against Wolves, but David Wheater is on standby to partner Zat Knight, with Paul Robinson completing the backline infront of Jussi Jaaskelainen's goal.

Bolton could name an unchanged midfield, with Mark Davies, Nigel Reo-Coker, Fabrice Muamba and Martin Petrov all likely to see off competition from Chris Eagles, who failed to impress as a substitute against Newcastle.

Darren Pratley is unavailable after picking up the same stomach complaint which downed Steinsson, meaning he joins the likes of Stuart Holden, Lee Chung-Yong, Sean Davis and Josh Vela on the sidelines.

Ivan Klasnic and David Ngog will both be hopeful of retaining their starting places in attack, but Kevin Davies could start for the first time in a fortnight as Coyle decides to revamp a side short on confidence.

Wolves will be forced into making one change from the team which drew 1-1 at Arsenal on Tuesday.

Nenad Milijas was controversially sent off at the Emirates Stadium and will serve the first of a three-match suspension, after an appeal to The FA proved to be unsuccessful for Mick McCarthy's side.

Jamie O'Hara is also unavailable after undergoing surgery on a double hernia, but Kevin Doyle and Steven Fletcher should start for the visitors as they look to move clear of the bottom three.

Bolton Wanderers: from: Bogdan, Jaaskelainen, Lynch, Steinsson, Robinson, Cahill, Knight, Ricketts, Boyata, Wheater, Connolly, Riley, Muamba, Eagles, Petrov, M Davies, Reo-Coker, Kakuta, Blakeman, Tuncay, K Davies, Klasnic, Blake, Ngog, Eaves, Obadeyi, O'Halloran

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
11 Ipswich Town 20 27
12 Cheltenham Town 19 27
13 Bolton Wanderers 20 26
14 Accrington Stanley 19 24
15 Charlton Athletic 20 23
View Full Standings >>


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