For some teams, Bolton, especially at the Reebok Stadium, are seen as quite the bogey team. For Sunderland however, we boast a decent record at the Reebok. In fact Sunderland are looking to make it a hat trick of victories in this part of Lancashire. Darren Bent scoring the first and only goal a couple of years ago, and last season loanee Sully Muntari scoring a very late winner after we were bagged back by a late Ivan Klasnic equaliser.
After a spirited performance against Arsenal, the lads should be pretty confident of gaining a result again this year, especially since Bolton are on pretty dire form themselves despite picking up a morale boosting win away to local rivals Wigan Athletic last weekend. However this is what worries me. This is a must win game for both sides, even at this early point of the season and Bolton will undoubtedly be very up for this game. It will be up to them to take the initiative.
Bolton’s trademark ‘hard to beat’ characteristics have so far this season been absent for Owen Coyle’s men, losing more games than any other side in the division with 6 defeats already. Bolton’s win at the DW Stadium against Wigan ending a run of 6 straight defeats. The Trotters only win before that coming at newly promoted QPR, a resounding 4-0 success on the first day of the season. You would be forgiven for thinking that this would be good foundations to build on for the men in white and blue. This didn’t prove to be the case as they failed to build on that success and have recently lost against the likes of Norwich City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal. It is worth mentioning that they have already played a lot of the divisions top sides so it was always going to be a difficult ask but the amount of goals conceded must be a concern to everyone connected to the club
Watch Out For: Gary Cahill
The highly rated centre back is the pride of the Bolton Wanderers defence. After recently breaking in to the England set up he will be looking to cement his place in the starting to 11 for now and beyond. The 26 year old Sheffield born defender, who started his career with Aston Villa has had loan spells with Burnley and Sheffield United before making the permanent move to Bolton Wanderers, is also known to chip in with the occasional goal, after netting 12 goals in his Bolton career so far and 1 goal in 6 England appearances. Cahill has also been linked with a move away from the club with Arsenal, Tottenham and even Barcelona credited with an interest so it could be the case, he will soon be moving on to new grounds.
We really should be looking to take SOMETHING from the game on Saturday, although I am not optimistic of the win, we must get something in order to avoid being dragged into a relegation dogfight so early in the season. This would be a great opportunity to open up a gap between us and some of the teams below us and with Bolton being in and around us in the table there is no reason why we can’t get the points we desperately need. I seriously hope the car journey home come 5 o clock Saturday is a happy one!
Keep the faith