Bolton Wanderers v Leeds United - Preview

  • September 13, 2013 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton will be looking to kick-start their season on Saturday, when they play host to Leeds United at the Reebok Stadium.

Defeat at Blackburn Rovers a fortnight ago left Dougie Freedman's side bottom of the Championship, with just two points from their opening five matches - marking their worst start to a league season since 1984.

Victory over Leeds could see them rise as many as eight places in the table, which just goes to show how vital a win can be at this stage of the season.

After returning as a substitute in that defeat at Ewood Park last time out, Chris Eagles is expected to make his first start since the opening day of the season. The former Burnley midfielder has missed the last month of action with an ankle injury, but has been given extra time to recover during the international break.

Like Eagles, Tim Ream and Marc Tierney are available for selection after injury problems of their own. Lee Chung-Yong, Jermaine Beckford and Medo Kamara will all be assessed after representing their countries, while Adam Bogdan is expected to start in goal after playing for Hungary twice in the last ten days.

Stuart Holden, Mark Davies and Joe Riley are the only long-term absentees, meaning Freedman may give some players the opportunity to make amends for their disappointing display at Blackburn.

Tyrone Mears returned at right-back for that game, with Alex Baptiste moving over to the left. The latter may revert back to his natural side for the visit of United, with fit-again Tierney potentially coming back into the side. Zat Knight and David Wheater came in for criticism from supporters and the manager last time out, but although both are likely to retain their places in the back four.

Having impressed against Queens Park Rangers three weeks ago, Ream may come back into the Wanderers midfield - with Jay Spearing his most likely partner. Medo was off-form at Ewood Park and may be given the opportunity to rest after playing for Sierra Leone during the recent break.

Chung-Yong could drop to the bench after international exploits of his own, potentially opening the door for Eagles and Robert Hall to step back into the starting line-up.

David Ngog has shaken off a slight knock and is fit to start, and he could be joined by former Leeds favourite Beckford - who will be looking to get one over on his former admirers.

Leeds boss Brian McDermott has a full-strength squad to pick from ahead of the game at the Reebok.

Ross McCormack, Rudy Austin and Paul Green are all fit after international duty, while Sam Byram could make his first appearance since April after overcoming a hip injury.

Scott Wootton, Jason Pearce and Tom Lees are all hoping to start in defence, while there could be places for former Wanderers duo Stephen Warnock and El-Hadji Diouf.

Bolton Wanderers: from: Bogdan, Lonergan, Lynch, Mears, Mills, Ream, Knight, Baptiste, Tierney, Wheater, White, Bolger, Threlkeld, Spearing, Eagles, Hall, Moritz, Pratley, Vela, Chung-Yong, Gregus, Lester, Woodland, Kellett, Kamara, Ngog, Beckford, C Davies, O'Halloran, Eaves, Wilkinson, Odelusi, Youngs

Referee: Andy D'Urso
Venue: Reebok Stadium
Kick-Off: 15:00

Football betting site Betway

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
20 Tranmere Rovers 2 0
21 Peterborough United 2 0
22 Southend United 2 0
23 Bolton Wanderers 2 -11
24 Bury 0 -12
View Full Standings >>


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