2010/11 Preview: Rovers v Bolton Wanderers

Image courtesy of Matthew Wilkinson

With only four games left in the season, and the current position we find ourselves in, you don’t need me to tell you how massive this game is. A win would go a long way to ensuring Barclays Premiership football next season, whilst a draw could inch us closer to the safety zone (provided results go our way) and a defeat (again dependent on the other results) would leave us with a mountain to climb.

Why I decided to step in and do this preview is two-fold: firstly I enjoying doing them, and in turn hope you like reading them, but secondly I’m rather superstitious and I’m sure you are too, and in the six previous previews I have done we are undefeated.

P6 W5 D1 L0 F16 A4

(Norwich 3-0, Middlebrough 3-2, Newcastle 3-0, Everton 0-0, Peterborough 5-2, Aston Villa 2-0)

I sincerely hope the streak continues!

The Team – Bolton Wanderers Factfile

Full Name – Bolton Wanderers Football Club

Nicknames – The Wanderers, The Trotters, The Whites, The White Men

Founded – 1874 as Christ Church FC

Ground – Reebok Stadium, capacity 28,723

Legends team – Jussi Jaaskelainen, Bruno N’Gotty, Gudni Bergsson, Fernando Hierro, Paul Jones, Ted Vizard, Roy Greaves, Per Frandsen, Jay Jay Okocha, John McGinlay, Nat Lofthouse.

Honours – three 2nd/1st Division (now Championship) League titles, one 3rd Divison (now League One) League titles, four FA Cups, five League Cups, one Charity/Community Shield, one Football League Trophy (now Johnstone’s Paint Trophy)

The History – Memorable games at Ewood versus Bolton

21/02/2010 Blackburn Rovers 3-0 Bolton Wanderers (Rovers’ last win against Bolton)
A Nikola Kalinic goal opened the scoring, before a deluge of snow. Jason Roberts and Gael Givet put the game beyond doubt in the second period.

03/02/1996 Blackburn Rovers 3-1 Bolton Wanderers (First Premiership meeting between the two sides)
An Alan Shearer hat-trick gave the then Premiership Champions, Rovers, the victory.

29/03/1963 Blackburn Rovers 5-0 Bolton Wanderers
Braces from John Byrom and Fred Pickering followed an Andy McEvoy opener to give Rovers a memorable victory.

21/12/1889 Blackburn Rovers 7-1 Bolton Wanderers (The biggest league win for Rovers against Bolton)

09/11/1881 Blackburn Rovers 6-2 Bolton Wanderers (First-ever meeting between the two sides, in the FA Cup)

Overall Record at Ewood

Played 71 – Blackburn 36 wins – Bolton 20 wins – 15 Draws
Rovers 144 goals – Bolton 98 goals

Rovers/Bolton lineup

  1. Mike Salmon
  2. Jason McAteer
  3. Walter Crook
  4. Per Frandsen
  5. Colin Hendry
  6. Paul Warhurst
  7. Gordon Taylor
  8. El Hadji Diouf
  9. Kevin Davies
  10. John Byrom
  11. Bobby Langton

Subs

  • Youri Djorkaeff
  • Mark Patterson
  • Nathan Blake
  • Matt Jansen
  • Scott Sellars
  • Bob Mortimer
  • Harry McShane

The Interview

Obviously a bit short notice for my usual style, but I asked a couple of people on a Bolton Wanderers forum for some quick-fire answers.

Answers here

The Game

Of course any team news can change, but Rovers and Bolton will both be without long-term absentees: Ryan Nelsen and Vince Grella for the Rovers; Sam Ricketts and Stuart Holden for Bolton. Both sides have fitness doubts over their stars of the second half of the season: Junior Hoilett is expected to overcome a hamstring strain, whilst the same injury forced Daniel Sturridge to miss the defeat at Fulham on Wednesday.

One to Watch

Daniel Sturridge

The on-loan star has been a revelation since joining from Chelsea in January. Most Rovers fans will remember his devastating cameo for Manchester City a couple of years ago, when he came on and led City to an unlikely point, by scoring to make it 2-1 then threading a magnificent through-ball for Robinho to make it 2-2, both in the dying minutes of the game. His record at Bolton has been phenomenal and goals against Wolves, Newcastle, Tottenham and Arsenal have left Chelsea fans wondering why he hasn’t had more first-team opportunities for the Blues since he joined on a free two seasons ago. Unfortunately for Bolton his form has likely priced them out of any permanent move, although he could once again head out on loan next season.

Fantasy Star

Johan Elmander

For those who play fantasy football, this will probably come as a surprise: Elmander has had a magnificent season. As recently as last season the Swedish striker was an expensive dud who had done nothing but flatter to deceive during his time at the Reebok. Whether his work ethic has improved, he has had more luck or, most probably, he has benefited from the positive influence of manager Owen Coyle, he has had a season to remember. 10 goals and 7 assists have given him 141 fantasy points ahead of the likes of Bent, van Persie, Rooney and Torres. In fact only Tevez, Berbatov, Drogba and Odemwingie have more points in the Forwards category.

Tickets

Still Available, via www.onerovers.co.uk, via telephone on 0871 222 1444 and at the ticket office at the ground.

Adults – from £10.00

Seniors/Club 16-21 – from £5.00

Juniors – from £5.00

Predictions

I’ll leave that up to you, although a 3-0 win like last season would be great!

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