Good morning and I hope that Christmas is treating you well. I do also hope that you have got over the sound of my voice belting out the twelve days of Bolton. After the festive period, if you need to get your kids to bed, may I recommend threatening that you will play it unless they get upstairs.
Today sees the one hundredth overall meeting between Bolton and a team in even more dire straits than us, Sheffield Wednesday. Both are former clubs of our own, personal, Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Gary Megson.
It is quite easy to dislike the men from Hillsborough. My personal dislike comes from living pretty much on the border with Hillsborough for four years. You may have your own.
I have nothing against the manager, Dave Jones, as he struggled so hard to get them into the Championship last season and is now doing his damndest to take them straight back down again.
Due to the holiday, there was no prematch press conference, but Dougie did have this to say about the debacle at London Road.
‘I thought our defensive performance wasn`t what we had shown over the last three or four games. But we showed great desire and belief with our attacking performance that we could still get back in the game. As a coach, it was difficult to pick different units out.’ That’s OK, Dougie. Blame all of them.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Stephen Warnock has returned to Villa, albeit maybe temporarily, so Marcos Alonso is due to fill in at left back. David N’Gog is facing a late fitness test after the injury that kept him out on Saturday, and with SKD banned for one game after hitting the yellow card limit, this could mean the unlikely forward line of Afobe and Sordell. Or Knight and Bogdan. Who knows?
Player to watch: Zat Knight
After some impressive performances, by his standards at least, Knight returned to his calamatous ways against Peterborough. In a defence becoming more makeshift by the week, the Knight of the early part of the season has to stand up today.
Sheffield Wednesday Team News:
From the BBC website, David Prutton is due to miss the game but Jay Bothroyd, the man who was preferred to SKD as Capello ‘knew’ what SKD could do, may return.
Player to watch: Jermaine Johnson
You’ll remember Jermaine? Jermaine Johnson? Used to play for us? No, I don’t remember much about it either. I think I saw him in the league cup once. Maybe against Tranmere. Anyway, Jermaine once said that playing for Wednesday was better than playing for Bolton. Probably because Wednesday are more his level.
Match Facts & Stats
Ninety nine times have Bolton and Wednesday played each other in the league, with the Yorkshire club holding a 43-35 advantage overall and T’Trotters leading 26-12 at home since the first game between the clubs at Olive Grove in 1892. Wednesday won that game 1-0.
Bolton’s leading scorer in the fixture is Sir Nat with eight. In the second tier, Roger Hunt, John Byrom, John Ritson and Tony Henry all have two.
The last time the clubs met at T’Reebok was in the promotion season, Dean Holdsworth and Colin Hendry scoring the goals in a 2-0 win.
5-4 to Bolton. All the way. Or 2-1. Take your pick.
Birmingham, at T’Reebok, on Saturday.