Birmingham City v Bolton Wanderers - Preview

  • October 04, 2013 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton go to Birmingham City on Saturday, looking to go into the international break on the back of their first league win of the season.

Tuesday's goalless draw at Blackpool was a step in the right direction for Wanderers, although there was a sense of frustration that they failed to record a victory at Bloomfield Road.

Dougie Freedman's side are yet to win in the Championship this season, with the weekend trip to St Andrew's set to be their 11th attempt at securing those first three points.

The Trotters will be boosted by the return of Craig Davies, who has missed the last five games with a toe injury he initially picked up in the 1-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers in August. The former Wolverhampton Wanderers forward aggravated the problem in a 4-1 defeat at Blackburn Rovers a week later, and hasn't featured since.

Davies is likely to start on the bench in the Midlands, with Jermaine Beckford tipped to start ahead of both him and David Ngog.

Marc Tierney will miss the next five months of action after breaking his foot in last weekend's 1-1 draw with Yeovil Town, so Alex Baptiste may continue to deputise at left-back after impressing in the position on Tuesday night. On-loan Kevin McNaughton should start at right-back, with Tim Ream and Matt Mills taking the central positions in front of Adam Bogdan's goal. Ream could also feature at left-back, which may open the door for the return of Zat Knight.

Liam Feeney and Neil Danns made their full Bolton debuts at Bloomfield Road and could retain their places, although Freedman may decide to recall the likes of Chris Eagles, Lee Chung-Yong and Robert Hall - who were all benched in that game.

Jay Spearing is fit, despite needing multiple stitches to a head wound against Yeovil, while Medo Kamara is also back in Freedman's first-team plans after returning to the starting 11 last weekend.

As well as the aforementioned absence of Tierney, Wanderers will be without the services of long-term absentees Andre Moritz, Stuart Holden, Mark Davies and Joe Riley. Josh Vela is also struggling with a knee problem.

Birmingham boss Lee Clark will be without the services of former Burnley midfielder Wade Elliott, who will miss the game with a calf injury.

Hayden Mullins and Lee Novak are available after recovering from their respective injuries, although Akwasi Asante is a doubt with a hamstring problem. A knee injury will keep Neal Eardley out for the season, but the Blues look set to start with fit-again David Murphy.

On-loan Manchester United forward Jesse Lingard has scored five goals in his first three appearances for the Blues, and will be the man to watch if Wanderers are to record a second successive clean sheet on the road.

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

Referee: David Coote
Venue: St Andrew's
Kick-Off: 12:15

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


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