Bolton’s Boxing Day fixture takes them to the Stadium of Light and sees them reunite with a Spirit of Wanderers’ Past. We’ll lock horns with Phil Parkinson’s Sunderland, the ex-manager taking over on Wearside a few weeks after our reverse fixture with them in September. Since then we’ve picked up a bit, won some games, and have some hope of staying up. Sunderland have gone backwards since Parky took over, and even dropped into the bottom half due to not playing this weekend. He’s already a man under pressure. Can we finish another Sunderland manager off, after Simon Grayson was sacked after a home draw against us?
As for us, it’s a chance to get off the bottom of the table for the first time since August, and even then we weren’t bottom only because of the Bury situation.
— Bolton Wanderers FC (@OfficialBWFC) December 24, 2019
There shouldn’t bee too many changes from Saturday’s win, though Adam Chicksen may come back into the side after illness last week restricted him to a place on the bench against Southend. In turn, that might allow Liam Bridcutt to go back into midfield, possibly for Luke Murphy, who became a dad on Sunday. For Sunderland, Jordan Willis can return after a knee injury. Only George Dobson is out due to suspension, but there have been a few players ill.
Facts and stats
The teams met at the UniBol in September – we had led before Sunderland equalised with a late, late penalty.
Our last visit to the Stadium of Light was on Halloween in 2017. We drew 3-3 having led, and Sunderland boss Simon Grayson was sacked within minutes of the final whistle.
Our last win there came in an FA Cup third round replay in 2013, when Marvin Sordell scored both goals in a 2-0 win.
Bolton have seven points from their last five games (W2 D1), while Sunderland have five points from their last five (W1 D2)
Sunderland are struggling but we’re not exactly doing well away from home, even if we were much improved at Peterborough. 2-0 to them.