Bolton Wanderers v Sunderland - Preview

  • January 04, 2013 | By Chris Mann
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The FA Cup will take centre stage at the weekend, with Bolton playing host to Sunderland in the third round of the competition.

The tie is one of the most common at this stage, with the two sides having met in the third round in five previous years. Saturday's fixture will be the third time they have met in round three in 11 seasons.

Despite being the underdogs, Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman is expected to turn to youth. With first-team regulars failing to hit form so far this season, the likes of Marvin Sordell and Joe Riley could be set for rare starts.

Academy trio Zach Clough, Alex McQuade and Adam Blakeman have all made the senior squad in recent weeks and could be named among the substitutes, but there will be no place for Tom Eaves - who is cup-tied after representing Bristol Rovers earlier in the competition.

Josh Vela is closing in on a return to first-team action after four months out through injury, but Saturday's fixture will come too soon for the 19-year-old.

Andy Lonergan could make just his second appearance for Bolton in goal, with Adam Bogdan likely to be rested.

Riley could replace Tyrone Mears at right-back, but Freedman may decide to stick with Zat Knight, Tim Ream and Marcos Alonso, despite competition from Sam Ricketts and McQuade.

Jacob Butterfield has returned to Norwich City after an uneventful loan spell at the Reebok Stadium, so Keith Andrews and Jay Spearing may retain their places in front of the back four - although the former is struggling with an Achilles problem.

Darren Pratley has impressed in recent outings, while Martin Petrov and Lee Chung-Yong may occupy the wide roles - with Chris Eagles on the bench.

Stuart Holden is closing in on a return, but the game against his former club will come too soon. Mark Davies and Benik Afobe will also be missing with shoulder and hamstring injuries, respectively.

Afobe's absence could lead to Sordell starting in attack, with David Ngog missing with an ankle complaint and Kevin Davies likely to be rested.

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill will be without the services of Lee Cattermole and former Manchester United duo John O'Shea and Wes Brown.

Cattermole is out with a knee problem, O'Shea has a hamstring strain and Brown is recovering from a knee ligament injury.

The likes of David Vaughan, Fraizer Campbell and Titus Bramble could be handed rare starts for the Black Cats, while Connor Wickham could start in the place of Stephane Sessegnon.

Former Everton forward James McFadden could also make a rare appearance, with the Sunderland boss likely to give Steven Fletcher a breather.

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

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 80
8 Oxford United 46 76
9 Bolton Wanderers 46 73
10 Portsmouth 46 73
11 Ipswich Town 46 70
View Full Standings >>


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