Bolton Wanderers v Blackburn Rovers - Preview

  • December 24, 2014 | By Chris Mann
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Two Lancashire rivals come together on Boxing Day, when Bolton play host to Blackburn Rovers at Macron Stadium.

The fixture computer couldn't have thrown out many better fixtures than this, as the two clubs recommence for the 165th time - making it the most played fixture in Wanderers' history.

Neil Lennon's side go into the game searching for a fifth successive clean sheet, which last happened between October and November 2005, but, in Blackburn, they are likely to come up against one of the Championship's most lethal strike forces.

The Wanderers manager has tried to be consistent with his team selections since taking over from Dougie Freedman in October, but an outbreak of flu may force him into a number of changes should the players in question fail to be passed fit.

Eidur Gudjohnsen played through illness for an hour in last Friday's victory at Millwall, but the virus has since spread to the likes of Lee Chung-Yong and Darren Pratley - who will be assessed ahead of the game, after staying away from training in an attempt to curb the virus.

Josh Vela recently recovered from a similar problem and is expected to start at right-back, despite facing competition from the fit-again Kevin McNaughton. He is likely to join an unchanged back-four, alongside Tim Ream, Dorian Dervite and Matt Mills, who is eligible for selection after the Football League's amnesty date for receiving five yellow cards was brought forward to the end of November.

Jay Spearing is pushing for a starting role, which could arrive if Pratley isn't deemed fit enough to start, while Robert Hall looks set to start back-to-back games after impressing at The Den.

Conor Wilkinson and Gudjohnsen will compete for a start in attack, although Emile Heskey could come into consideration after joining the club on a short-term deal on Friday. Craig Davies continues to miss out with a hamstring strain.

Bolton Wanderers: from: Bogdan, Lonergan, Fitzsimons, McNaughton, Moxey, Mills, Ream, Dervite, Wheater, Taylor, Threlkeld, Maher, Sellers, Matthews, Spearing, Feeney, Hall, Trotter, Danns, Pratley, Vela, Hughes, Chung-Yong, Lester, Woodland, Kamara, Gudjohnsen, Wilkinson, Odelusi, Clough, Iliev, Knight, Heskey

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
12 Cheltenham Town 19 27
13 Accrington Stanley 20 27
14 Bolton Wanderers 20 26
15 Charlton Athletic 20 23
16 Cambridge United 20 23
View Full Standings >>


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