A poll set after two games asked: which league fixture would produce the Whites` first win of the season? Five games on from that poll, the Wanderers are still searching for their first 3-points of the campaign, triggering a second poll. Optimism dwindling, there are now 6 options available for you to register your vote.
Unsurprisingly, 60% of you are considering the home fixture against Yeovil to garner our points total with 3. What is surprising, however, is 30% of you are suggesting our first league win of the season will come tomorrow, away to Brighton and Hove Albion at the AMEX Stadium.
Is there something you know that I don`t?
Whether it`s a gut feeling you have or blind optimism driving your every waking thought, I hope you`re right. Boy, do I hope you`re right.
Although the Seagulls haven`t set the league alight of yet, they are definitely showing signs of finding their feet under new manager, Oscar Garcia. The last three league games away from home, they haven`t conceded a goal, taking 5 points from Birmingham, Reading and QPR. Like Derby though, they are a different proposition at home. A defeat at the feet of Newport and Derby, followed by a point against Millwall, suggests to me?
30% of you could be spot on.
‘It’s very unfortunate for the group of players that we have – their performance levels have been very good,’
The fans have seen that and they got right behind them the other night because they saw the determination, but they didn’t get what they deserved from that game.
The guys in the backroom who do all the statistics tell me that we had more possession and more shots, but you have to score more goals than the opposition.
Frustrated? Yes we are, but certainly a lot of positives came out of it. It was a good display and I think if we can keep on having performances like that, then it’s only going to be a matter of time before we start picking up a few wins.
There is no way that we’ll be lying down and taking these defeats and draws – we’ll keep on fighting.’
Dougie talking to the official website.
Brighton & Hove Albion Team News:
Thankfully, Leonardo Ulloa is suspended after a recent red card. Ashley Barnes is expected to start in attack and Wanderers fans will remember Barnes from the last meeting, when he was sent off for kicking out at the referee in a defeat at the Reebok.
Do it again, Ashley, I dare you… I double-dare you.
Craig Mackail-Smith, Will Hoskins and Andrea Orlandi are all injured, but Bruno, who scored in this fixture last season, could start.
Player to watch: Ashley Barnes
Leonardo Ulloa aside, Brighton’s danger-men wear thin. Ulloa has accounted for 4 of the Seagulls 6 goals, so Ashley Barnes will be looking to stake a claim in Ulloa’s absence.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
I know it seems negligible but our only long-term absentees are Stuart Holden, Mark Davies and Joe Riley- who are all out with knee ligament injuries.
Andre Moritz is out for a matter of weeks with a torn groin. Tom Eaves will also be away with his loan spell at Rotherham United starting.
Oh, Craig Davies- gone but not forgotten, just- may be back in contention for a place on the bench. But with Beckford being Beckford, Davies may find himself thrown straight in the deep-end.
Player to watch: Chris Eagles
I hate this section.
I’m saying Eagles because, who knows what he’s going to do? Is he going to shoot at every opportunity and score a hat-trick? Extremely unlikely, the hat-trick, I mean.
Or will he start slipping some Iniesta-esque through-balls to Beckford to grab a brace? Again, highly unlikely, both things, I mean.
So, let’s just watch and see if he starts, shall we?
Match Facts & Stats
Brighton and Bolton have only played 10 league matches against each other.
The Trotters’ only away league victory against the Seagulls was 2-1 in October 1977, in a season in which they finished league champions.
There has never been a goalless draw between the two clubs.
Head or heart, which do I disclose?
I’m going 1-1 like last year.
I’ll let you decide which part of the body that prediction came from…
It’s the game in which 60% of you believe the Wanderers will get their first win of the season.
It’s the home-banker, Yeovil at the Reebok.