Ahhh….the fortress Reebok. A place of sanctuary where we can all relax as we know that we will get a result there. A place where we remain unbeaten this season. And it can’t happen against perennial strugglers Crystal Palace, can it?
Before their victory at Charlton this season, Palace last won an away league game on New Year’s Eve. So, surely, we can win this game?
You know what’s going to happen, don’t you?
‘I think the players are now realising how demanding the Championship is. I think we know that it isn`t a sprint but a marathon, and step-by-step you have to start picking up the points to put yourself into that great position to kick on and move up the table.’ OC, confirming that the players were about two months behind the rest of us in figuring out the Championship.
‘We have to be focused and give the opponents the utmost respect starting on Saturday against Crystal Palace, who have some fantastic players and have been on a good run of form.’ He’s starting again. The only thing missing are the words ‘Barclays’ ‘Premier’ and ‘League’.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Other than the usuals, Marcos Alonso picked up a ‘knock’ and is touch and go for tomorrow. Despite his goal last weekend, I’d rather he be go. Stephen Warnock looks set to deputise if Alonso isn’t able to start. Or even if he is.
Player to watch: Chris Eagles
It can’t be anyone else really. The player that you can’t fault has chipped in with more goals and assists than the rest of the team together. It seems, at times, that he is pulling them along with him. At some point, that rope will break. Hopefully, the rest of them will take some of the burden off him soon.
Crystal Palace Team News:
According to our website, Paddy McCarthy (insert Irish stereotype here) faces a long lay off with a groin injury. Presumably after falling over a sheep in Ballygobackwards. Peter Ramage is a doubt with a thigh complaint (“I wish to return this thigh…it is dead.” “It’s not dead, it’s only sleeping.”
Player to watch: Glenn Murray
Some would point at Wellfried Zaha as the player to watch, seeing as how we were interested in him last season. But you cannot argue with a man who scores once every four games on average and has already scored five goals this season (more than our forwards put together, blah blah blah) including a second half hat trick last weekend.
Match Facts & Stats
Surprisingly, Bolton and Palace have only met thirty four times in the league, due in no small part to Palace not being in the top flight for the first part of the twentieth century. Bolton won the first game in 1964 3-0, with goals from Franny Lee, Freddie Hill and Wyn Davies. Since then, Bolton have built up a 13-7 lead, which increases to 10-0 at Burnden/Reebok.
That’s right. Palace have never won, in the league, at Bolton. How can we possibly lose?
Our leading scorer in the fixture is Roy Greaves with four between 1966 and 1969 and, unsuprisingly, he is the leading second tier scorer as well.
The last fixture between the clubs occurred on February 5th 2005 in the Premier League, a Kevin Nolan goal separating the teams at Selhurst Park.
Geoff Eltringham is a referee. John Kettley is a weatherman. Coincidence?
Not much I can tell you about the man his wife and friends probably call The Big G. He has taken charge of one Championship game this season, Wednesday’s victory over Birmingham. Overall, he has given out twelve yellows and one red.
As is the norm, he has never taken charge of a Bolton game before and just the one Palace game, their 3-1 defeat at Birmingham last season.
Think he likes Birmingham.
I am so up this season on my predictions, I’m thinking of giving some of it to charity. So, 2-1 again.
The big, bad two in the coming week. Leeds return to T’Reebok for the first time since we sent them on their way down the divisions on Tuesday, before Millwall away on Saturday. Pack your tin hats.