Bolton Wanderers v Wigan Athletic - Preview

  • February 10, 2012 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton host Wigan Athletic this Saturday, on a weekend that could have major implications on the fight for Premier League survival.

With Blackburn Rovers taking on Queens Park Rangers at Ewood Park and Wolverhampton Wanderers playing host to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, victory over the Latics could be vital to Bolton's hopes of avoiding relegation.

Owen Coyle's side will open up a seven point gap over bottom-placed Wigan with a win and the odds would appear to be in their favour after remaining unbeaten in the last eight meetings with the Latics.

Wanderers ran out 3-1 winners at the DW Stadium in October's reverse meeting and Coyle will be hopeful of securing a similar result in front of home support on Saturday.

Following on from a 2-0 defeat at Norwich City last weekend, Coyle could hand a debut to January signings Tim Ream and Ryo Miyaichi.

Ream's Trotters bow had been delayed due to passport issues holding up his move from the United States, but after a full week of training, the former New York Red Bulls defender could replace David Wheater or Zat Knight at the heart of the Bolton backline.

Sam Ricketts should continue at left-back, while Gretar Steinsson and Joe Riley have recovered from slight injuries to provide competition for Tyrone Mears' right-back position.

Adam Bogdan has impressed in goal in recent weeks, but with Jussi Jaaskelainen back at full fitness after a thigh strain, the former Finland international may return in goal.

Martin Petrov, Chris Eagles, Nigel Reo-Coker, Fabrice Muamba and Mark Davies should provide the ammunition for David Ngog in attack, but the likes of Miyaichi, Marvin Sordell, Kevin Davies and Tuncay Sanli are all hopeful of getting the nod to start.

Wanderers remain without Lee Chung-Yong, Stuart Holden, Marcos Alonso and Ricardo Gardner, who are the long-term injury absentees.

Ali Al Habsi will make his first return to the Reebok Stadium as Wigan go in search of their first win in 10 league outings.

Al Habsi played 18 games for Bolton before sealing a permanent switch to the Latics last summer and should start in goal for Roberto Martinez's side.

There don't appear to be any injury problems for Martinez, with Antolin Alcaraz back in contention after missing the draw with Everton last week with a groin problem.

Should Alcaraz return to the side, the defensive partnership of Emmerson Boyce and Gary Caldwell will be split up to accomodate the Paraguay international.

Hugo Rodallega could return to the side at the expense of Franco Di Santo, while Mohamed Diame is available after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Bolton Wanderers: from: Jaaskelainen, Bogdan, Lynch, Steinsson, Robinson, Knight, Mears, Ricketts, Boyata, Wheater, Ream, Connolly, Riley, Muamba, Eagles, Petrov, M Davies, Reo-Coker, Pratley, Miyaichi, Blakeman, Tuncay, K Davies, Klasnic, Blake, Ngog, Sordell, 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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