BWFC December Preview: A Forward Trotting Christmas?

  • December 02, 2013 | By Sean McNeilly
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The festive season is near and the games are starting to come thick and fast. How many points will Father Christmas bring Bolton Wanderers this month?

Decemeber is upon us and that means the typical busy period of football - six games are ahead before 2014 hits. You might be surprised to hear though that this isn't the busiest month of the season. April also has six matches, while March is a bumper month with seven. So Decemeber, you aren't as daunting as we thought. It is a month where the table really begins taking shape though, plus Father Christmas visits on the 25th, so it is a big favourite across the country.

The coming month is split, with three matches on the road and three at the Reebok Stadium. It begins with back-to-back home matches on December 3, against Huddersfield Town, and then December 7, against Doncaster Rovers. Bolton play on a Sunday for the first time this season, when they travel to the DW Stadium to face Wigan Athletic, on December 15. Charlton Athletic visit the Reebok for the final home match of the month, on December 21, before Wanderers visit Barnsley on Boxing Day. The month is rounded off on December 29, with a tough trip to Leicester City.

Mark Robins brings his troops to the Reebok for the Trotters' first midweek fixture since a goalless draw at Blackpool at the beginning of October. The Terriers currently sit comfortably in mid-table, something Robins fans would have surely taken at the start of the season. There is one major reason to this; James Vaughan. After a successful loan spell last season, Vaughan's move was made permanent in the summer and the former Everton striker has 10 goals to his name already this campaign. Adam Hammill has also been helping out, it must be said, and has been credited with seven assists so far. However, with a great month behind us, Dougie Freedman will certainly be looking for the second three point haul at home this season.

Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts GD
12 Huddersfield Town 17 6 5 6 23 21 23 2
16 Bolton Wanderers 17 4 7 6 17 22 19 -5

One to Watch: James Vaughan
Last Season: Bolton Wanderers 1-0 Huddersfield Town (Eagles)


Doncaster roll into town a few days later. The pre-season relegation contenders currently find themselves a healthy difference away from the bottom three, and I'm sure Paul Dickov will be hoping Donny move in One Direction for the rest of the season. Dickov will be hoping a mix of the big and little things keep them up this season. Some shrewd signings have been made to steel up their campaign, including Federico Macheda, ever-present Ross Turnbull and Theo Robinson - ensuring more positive moments like the recent win against QPR. Another home match where Freedman will be expecting to come out with a win One Way or Another. You guys, the fans, will be right behind the lads as ever, because That's What Makes You Beautiful.

Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts GD
16 Bolton Wanderers 17 4 7 6 17 22 19 -5
18 Doncaster Rovers 17 5 4 8 16 27 19 -11

One to Watch: Theo Robinson


Bolton's first away day of the month isn't much of a distance away, but is a belter. Playing Wigan is normally a heated game anyway, but add in Owen Coyle's first match against Wanderers since parting company with us makes for a cracker. Coyle's time at the Reebok was rocky to say the least, and his tenure at the FA Cup holders has started no differently. Big names make up the Wigan squad, but the pressures of a busy schedule currently see the Latics, whose owner Dave Whelan will be wanting to bounce straight back, languishing in mid-table. Chopping and changing has been forced upon Coyle so far, but their standout players so far have been Nick Powell, a coup on loan from Manchester United, and Jordi Gomez. Both players can cause most teams in the country problems. A tough game at the DW, but one that the fans will be up for more than most; which we hope will spur the Whites on to get three points.

Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts GD
14 Wigan Athletic 16 6 4 6 18 16 22 2
16 Bolton Wanderers 17 4 7 6 17 22 19 -5

One to Watch: Nick Powell


The Trotters final home date of the month sees Charlton visit the Reebok. The Championship has plenty of teams like the Addicks - very hard to predict. Chris Powell has done a decent job in turning them back into a Championship team, even if the league table shows them as near the bottom three. On loan striker Marvin Sordell will not be available for this fixture, though that may not make any difference for Powell - who has only used the Bolton man sparingly. Sordell has averaged 43 minutes a game this season and has knocked in one league goal. I am a firm believer he has a place in Dougie's squad and do not want to see his move made permanent. As for players who have been impressing? Well, not many. Simon Church is their top scorer, along with very talented Yann Kermorgant, but three points is a must here for the Whites.

Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts GD
16 Bolton Wanderers 17 4 7 6 17 22 19 -5
20 Charlton Athletic 17 4 5 8 14 20 17 -6

One to Watch: Yann Kermorgant
Last Season: Bolton Wanderers 2-0 Charlton Athletic (Ngog 2)


At the time of writing, Barnsley have just parted company with manager David Flitcroft - as the Tykes lie bottom of the Championship table. By the time this Boxing Day fixture at Oakwell comes around, a new manager should be in place. And with a new manager could come renewed hope and more positive results - who knows? But, to date, it has been a poor season for the relegation favourites. Problems in front of and defending goals; Barnsley currently have the second lowest amount of goals scored and the most goals conceded, resulting in the worst goal difference in the league by quite a way. A happy Boxing Day is a real possibility for the Whites at this time. This will hopefully be the same by the time Boxing Day comes around.

Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts GD
16 Bolton Wanderers 17 4 7 6 17 22 19 -5
24 Barnsley 17 2 5 10 16 35 11 -19

One to Watch: Chris O'Grady
Last Season: Barnsley 2-3 Bolton Wanderers (Cywka, O'Grady; Ngog, Spearing, Dawson)


Before 2014 hits us, Bolton finish December off with a trip to Leicester. A tough end to the year indeed. At the time of writing, Leicester top the table by three points. Threats all over the pitch, strikers scoring goals and stern defence, Leicester seem to be the complete package. After a heartbreaking play-off game at Vicarage Road last season, Nigel Pearson has started this season with the aim of not missing out in such a fashion again, and it's looking good for them. A tough end to the year for the Whites. Anything from this game would be welcome.

Pos Team Pld W D L F A Pts GD
1 Leicester City 17 12 2 3 29 16 38 13
16 Bolton Wanderers 17 4 7 6 17 22 19 -5

One to Watch: Lloyd Dyer
Last Season: Leicester City 3-2 Bolton Wanderers (Wood, Dyer, Schlupp; Ngog(pen), Pratley)


Coming off the back of the best month of the season so far, Bolton will be looking to start December off with a bang - with two very winnable home matches. In fact, the three home matches should be resulting in three wins. As for the away games, I'd say four points would be a success.

Hopefully we all have a forward Trotting Christmas and a successful new year.

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
13 Accrington Stanley 27 36
14 Charlton Athletic 27 33
15 Bolton Wanderers 26 32
16 Lincoln City 26 31
17 Cheltenham Town 27 31
View Full Standings >>


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