It`s the first midweek league fixture at the Macron tonight and we welcome the seven billion fans Sheffield United reckon they take. Both of us came up from League One last season, but it`s fair to say they have adapted to the Championship much quicker than we have. While we sit bottom without a win, the Blades are sat in the playoff spots. There is one thing for us to grasp at though, this is probably the first home league game we`ve had this season against a team where the talk is of them going up. We also beat these lot last season. Twice.
“We haven`t been at our best, but we`re not a million miles away and a win would refresh things. We need a lift but no-one is going to click their fingers and make it happen for us. We have to do it by putting in the best performance of the season so far.”
Phil Parkinson in the Bolton News.
“They know it`s not the name on the back of the shirt that`s important, it`s the one on the front.”
Chris Wilder, bringing a strong cliché game to the Sheffield Star`s football pages.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Eyes down. Filipe Morais, Derik and Stephen Darby have all been sent for scans after picking up injuries on Saturday. Andy Taylor is unlikely to play after a calf tear kept him out at the weekend. Sammy Ameobi and Josh Vela will once again be missing, but David Wheater should be fine after his weekend injury.
Player to watch: Gary Madine
The last time we played Sheffield United, Madine was making a lot of news for the wrong reasons, and ended up not being involved in the Bramall Lane clash. He has however, been one of our better performers so far this season. Can he get back on the scoresheet tonight?
Sheffield United Team News:
Clayton Donaldson is a doubt for United with a hamstring problem and David Brooks may make his first league start in his place, unless they go with the more experienced Leon Clarke, who missed Saturday`s win at Sunderland through suspension. But former Wanderer Chris Basham could make his 150th start for the Blades.
Player to watch: Jack O’Connell
I would go for Billy Sharp, but we know all about him. O`Connell has a very good start to the season, and his height and ability in the air will mean the battle between him and Madine could be one to watch.
Match Facts & Stats
Bolton have won their last three home games against Sheffield United, two were in FA Cup ties, while last season`s league fixture was settled by Jay Spearing`s volley in that 1-0 opening day win.
Wanderers are unbeaten in their last 10 home league games against Sheffield United, stretching back to 1977.
If Clayton Donaldson is missing tonight, Billy Sharp will be the only player on the pitch to have scored for the Blades this season. Knowing us, their keeper will score a hat trick.
If Bolton lose tonight, it`ll the first time we`ve lost our opening four home league games since 2011 (Man City, Man Utd, Norwich and Chelsea beating us that year)
With the injury problems continuing, I can see us being beat again. 2-0 to them.
A trip to Ipswich on Saturday in the league, followed by a Carabao Cup game at West Ham next Tuesday.