Bolton play self-styled ‘massive club’ Sunderland tomorrow in their latest attempt to get their first win of the season.
Wanderers will have every right to come into the game with a bit more optimism, given the many good things that could be taken from Tuesday’s draw with Oxford though. The Mackems, and their large travelling army, will be a different proposition though. They sit fourth in the table, and will be looking to make it two wins in the North West in the space of eight days.
— Bolton Wanderers FC (@OfficialBWFC) September 20, 2019
There shouldn’t be wholesale changes for Bolton, as it seems unlikely that neither Daryl Murphy nor Chris O’Grady will be able to make their debut, and we’ll try to have to be inventive to fill that central striker void. Sunderland are at full-strength should they wish to be, with Duncan Watmore their only injury absentee.
Stats and facts
Bolton won their last meeting with the Black Cats, Zach Clough passable impression of the Hand of God goal earned us all three points in February 2018 on the way to Championship survival. It is however, the only game we’ve won at home against Sunderland in any of the last five attempts.
We have kept two clean sheets in our three home league games this season, but are yet to score a goal. Sunderland have won on both their away trips to the North West so far this season, while they drew down at Ipswich and were thrashed 3-0 by Peterborough.
These two teams have had the lowest number of shots per game on average so far in the whole of League One, Bolton 6.3, Sunderland 9.3. Sunderland are eighth in terms of goals scored though, so they can take those chances.
There shouldn’t be too many chances in this game, even if we do try and play some of the stuff we have been demonstrating in the early Keith Hill days. It’ll be about taking those chances that come either way, for both sides. Sunderland are a hard team to put a finger on. I think it will be a defeat, either 2-0 or 2-1.