Seriously. Black Cats To Get A Mauling? I’ve had a week and that’s the best I can come up with?
Fresh from getting Big Sam the old tin tack, Bolton travel to the North East to take on fellow surprise package Sunderland, in a game that people have billed ‘The Battle For Sixth’.
Actually they haven’t. But be sure for someone on Sky to say it tomorrow.
‘We went there last year and had a poor result, so we want to rectify that, just as we did against Blackburn. Sunderland are not seventh in the league by accident. They are a very good side littered with quality players.’ Aha, do you see what he did there. St Owen Coyle alludes to Sunderland being rubbish. Isn’t that what he means when he mentions litter?
‘It will be good to see some familiar faces and say ‘hello` to the people who treated me well while I was up there.’ Stuart Holden, glad that Mick McCarthy isn’t at Sunderland anymore. A feeling shared by most people in Sunderland.
‘Bolton are good, and I mean good. They`ve surprised a lot of people by how far up the table they are at this stage of the season but there`s no fluke involved in that. When you look at the spine of the team, they`ve got, it`s very, very impressive. They`ve got one of the best keepers around in Jussi Jaaskelainen, they`ve got Gary Cahill, who is an excellent centre-half, I tried to buy him at one stage, there`s the two midfield players, Fabrice Muamba and Stuart Holden, who look useful, and we all know about the two centre-forwards, Johan Elmander and Kevin Davies. So they are strong, but they`ve also got skilful players, like Martin Petrov and Chung-Yong Lee, who can mix it up a bit.’ Steve Bruce, not a big Zat Knight, Sam Ricketts or Paul Robinson fan.
Sunderland Team News:
To the BBC! Anton Ferdinand, the lesser talented brother (if that’s possible) is injured along with Titus Bramble, who seems to have found a way of not cocking up when playing for Sunderland, and both will be missed. Bolo Zenden has concussion, probably from trying to copy another one of Gyan’s dances and Frazier Campbell is also out.
There for the taking?
Player to watch: Asamoah Gyan
He may not start, but the footballer with a happier face than Dwight Yorke on a cocaine binge has been a potent scorer when brought off the bench to ‘do a job’. And he has just been voted BBC African Footballer of the Year.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Mark Davies got his chance and stuck his elbow into Phil Jones’s temple so Fabrice Muamba is back to hopefully give his ex Birmingham boss Bruce problems. Elsewhere, the Taylor/Petrov debate continues.
Player to watch: Stuart Holden
His goal against Blackburn has thrust Holden into the limelight, and what better way to prove his calibre than performing well against the team that had him and threw him away over a litle thing like a smack in the face and a broken eye socket.
Match Facts & Stats
Sunderland lead the head to head in the league 53-46 and at Roker Park/Stadium of Light extend that to 40-11.
In the Premier League they lead 5-4 overall and 4-2 in Sunderland. Our last victory there was the 4-1 win in November 2008.
Bolton’s leading scorer is good old Joe Smith with sixteen. In the Premier League the leading scorers are former Sunderland player El-Hadji Diouf, Johan Elmander and that well known player The Own Goal with two.
Loveable Scouser Chris Foy is in charge of his second Bolton game of the season, his first being the summary execution of Spurs, where he booked only Paul Robinson.
2-0. The way the presents are flying out of the account, eighty pounds will come in handy.
The Baggies bounce along to The Reebok on Boxing Day.