Bolton Wanderers v Sheffield Wednesday - Preview

  • December 24, 2012 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton will look to bounce back from defeat at Peterborough United when they host Sheffield Wednesday on Boxing Day.

Wanderers' hopes of back-to-back victories for the first time since March came to a crashing halt with Saturday's 5-4 defeat at London Road and Dougie Freedman will be hoping for a positive response from his side.

With the Championship entering the second half of the campaign, the Trotters will be hoping to secure their first league double of the season - following a 2-1 success over Wednesday at Hillsborough in September.

The Bolton team that lost at Peterborough was unchanged from the one that recorded a 2-0 win over Charlton Athletic the weekend previous to that, but Freedman will be forced into a number of changes this time round.

Kevin Davies picked up his fifth booking of the season at London Road and will miss the visit of the Owls through suspension, while Stephen Warnock has returned to Aston Villa following the expiry of his loan deal.

David Ngog missed the game at Peterborough with a knee injury and he will be handed a late fitness test to determine whether he will be fit enough to feature. Should the former Liverpool forward fail to pull through, Benik Afobe and Marvin Sordell are both in contention for rare starts.

Afobe and Sordell both impressed as substitutes last time out, but it is likely that only one will get the opportunity to start in attack - with Afobe possibly utilised in a wide role.

With Warnock back at Villa Park, Marcos Alonso is likely to start at the Reebok Stadium. The former Real Madrid youngster produced a Man of the Match display at Hillsborough in the reverse fixture, but has struggled with injuries and a lack of form since that game.

Martin Petrov could replace Lee Chung-Yong in the Bolton midfield, while Keith Andrews, Jay Spearing, Chris Eagles and Jacob Butterfield will all be hoping to retain their places.

Mark Davies, Matt Mills, Stuart Holden, Josh Vela and David Wheater remain on the sidelines, while second choice goalkeeper Andy Lonergan is also doubtful - which could mean a place for Rob Lainton or Jay Lynch on the bench.

After a difficult start to the season, Sheffield Wednesday go into the game on the back of successive league victories.

Owls boss Dave Jones will be boosted by the news that Jeremy Helan will be available for selection, after his loan from Manchester City was extended.

Helan scored in a 2-0 win over Charlton on Saturday and is expected to start on their visit to the Reebok.

David Prutton limped out of that game, meaning Chris Lines is expected to take his place in midfield.

Jay Bothroyd is closing in on a return, after two games out with an ankle injury, while Reda Johnson and Rhys McCabe could also be handed starting roles.

Former Wanderers midfielder Jermaine Johnson was an unused substitute in Wednesday's last outing and he looks set to start on the bench once again on Boxing Day.

Bolton Wanderers: from: Bogdan, Lainton, Lynch, Mears, Alonso, Ream, Knight, Ricketts, Riley, McKee, McQuade, Eagles, Andrews, Petrov, Spearing, Pratley, Chung-Yong, Butterfield, Blakeman, Ngog, Afobe, Sordell, Sampson, Odelusi

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
14 Charlton Athletic 21 26
15 Cambridge United 21 26
16 Bolton Wanderers 21 26
17 AFC Wimbledon 19 24
18 Lincoln City 20 21
View Full Standings >>


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