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Bolton Wanderers vs. Birmingham City

Reebok Stadium

29 December 2012

15:00

Bolton Wanderers: Cry Harry

Oh, here we go again. Another game against a team lower than us in the table and expectations are low.

This is not to say that you don't think Bolton can win, we certainly have the players for it. It's just that you know that if we concede the first goal, as we invariably do, then it is a long, hard climb to get back on terms. And as for winning a game from that position? That's as rare as a dodo and a duck billed platypuss teaming up to play swing tunes with Glenn Miller's ghost. And as for a clean sheet.....blah blah blah.

Despondency is the order of the day for fans of a team that were once regarded as so difficult to beat that teams had lost before they got on the bus to come to T'Reebok. It is difficult to look at opponents now and say that we will definitely beat them. There is a soft underbelly in this team, with a squad that has but one available leader.

What we need tomorrow is eleven Kevin Davies'. Or, at least, a younger version of him. This is now a battle. Once more unto the breach, dear friends. Once more.

Vital Quotes:

'Criticising certain players, they need to analyse that, and think maybe 'should I be doing this?` because the ones they do criticise are the ones who roll up their sleeves and give 100 per cent week in, week out.' Keith Andrews. Not very good at maths.

Bolton Wanderers Team News:

SKD is back from suspension, meaning that Marvin Sordell can go back to sitting at home on a Saturday again. Other than the usual suspects, there are no other injury concerns.

Player to watch: Kevin Davies

This may be coming across as a Kevin Davies love in, but there was something missing on Wednesday that you would think that the captain would have at least attempted to kick out of the younger members of the team. And I don't mean figuratively. He has been scoring goals and is still a talisman. And I know I am possibly going against what I said at the beginning of the season about him being an impact player.

Birmingham City Team News:

Jonathan Spector and Will Packwood may return to boost the number of Yanks on the Reebok turf to three, as long as Tim Ream plays. Or, at least, stands on the grass. Convicted felon Marlon King is injured as are other players not convicted for sexual assault, Peter Lovenkrands, Akwasi Asante, Papa Bouba Diop, Darren Ambrose, Paul Caddis, David Murphy and wee Stephen Carr. That almost matches our injury list.

Player to watch: Jack Butland

Only in the forlorn hope that we will force him into making some saves.

Match Facts & Stats

Since Bolton and Birmingham (then Small Heath) first met at Muntz Street in 1894, they have played each other 116 times in the league. T'Wanderers lead overall 46-39 and 33-7 at home. Our last win at home to them in the league came in 2010, when SKD and Ivan Klasnic scored in a 2-1 win.

Bolton's leading scorer in the fixture is George Gibson, who netted ten times between 1927 and 1932. In the second division it is Billy Hughes with four in 1909-10. I called him W earlier in the season. Not making that mistake again.

Match Prediction:

I have faith that SKD will, wearing an England flag pinny, rise on a chair and give a speech of such Churchillian maginificence, a 2-1 win will come almost without trying. No, that's not right. By really, really trying and breaking into a sweat.

Next Fixtures:

Leeds, Dirty Leeds, in Dirty Leeds, on New Years Day.




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The Journalist

Writer: Quentin X Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday December 28 2012

Time: 12:25PM

Your Comments

Desperate times calls for desperate measure and I have read nothing more desperate than placing our hopes and expectations in the hands of SKD. While not as bad as betting all ones money on a one legged man in an arse kicking contest, its not that far off, the lad lost his true worth as a striker 2 years ago though many refuse to accept the harsh fact. Romantic allusions will not help us, my comments about SKD reflect the underlying despair with the inabilities that have been exposed this season. Its fair to say that any team in the championship who begin to play as a forceful organised unit will get results, the league seems wide open even at this stage, though teams in the bottom half will need an extremely consistent run of good form to get into the chasing pack. Tomorrows game will deliver hope or misery, I fear the worst while hoping for the best.
aussie mike
Gotta agree with aussie mike, SKD is a spent force and a lot of fans watch his performances through rose tinted spectacles. He has been pretty dire for a couple of seasons now. Our best performances last season (Liverpool (H), Everton (A), Villa (A), Blackburn (H) and (A)) where all with Ngog as a lone striker. We need to stick with him and he will deliver.
Chris_AC
Ngog. No
adlington2
No Goal most probably not according to @OfficialBWFC: "Andrews, Ngog and Afobe all doubtful. M Davies (shoulder), Mills (thigh), Holden, Vela and Wheater (all knee) definitely out. "
Pedro1874
I know it is unfair to discriminate against SKD, I also accept the lad is strong, brave, loyal and a leader who gives 100%, alas, he is slow and just not sharp enough in and around the box, unless you supply him with 2 other forwards alongside to feed off his flick ons, he is a luxury we cannot afford. As a lone striker, forget it, by holding the ball and passing back to our midfielders he simply allows the opposition to get back in strength and nullify our attacks. In this league you have to cut through defenses with pace and accurate forward passing, if we play down the wings we need a quick centre forward to outpace the centre backs, SKD does not have the legs anymore to beat defenders.
aussie mike
A win at last, helped along by the ever impressive SKD, where would we be without him? We're too eager to write off what we've got, or had, Jussi, Nolan, O'Brien etc etc. Is there anyone in sight remotely as valuable as SKD? Get off his back.
adlington2
Agree with Adlington 2. The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. I would let Afobe go back to Arsenal and bring Eaves into the squad. Better to give him experiance rather than someone from a different club who is not ready for the first team. Also Alonso is not the quickest but he does have qualities which could be used in the right formation and he seems to have an eye for goal which we need in the absence of a proven striker.
norjoy
And Pratley turned up! Where did that performance come from? Passionate, committed and (somewhat) productive... Who'd have thunk it? I'm still not getting carried away, but after that performance from Alonso, with Riley waiting in the wings, is anyone else thinking that Warnock is a commodity we needn't be chasing or spending money on? We're still desperate for a centre half and a striker.
bwfc75
NOT impressed with the Bet 365 Ad taking over the whole page every time I click on a page here!
Pedro1874
Just realised, Riley's a right-back, isn't he? So we're thin at left-back?
bwfc75
so big Kev showed up yesterday and hope prospered, I still stand by my assessment of SKD based over the last 80 games, until such time he knocks in a few hat tricks and hits 20 goals for the season my opinion won't change, we need a striker who is prolific in the box, sure I wish big Kev could prove me wrong, I and all of us love the lad, but he is the wrong side of 30 by some measure. If Freedman gives him adequate support and he assists others to score like yesterday thats fine, but days like yesterday have been very thin on the ground and the lack of goals from our strikers is the main reason why we have lost so many games. Until we begin to hit the net more often draws and defeats will continue to curse our season, hence the importance of a striker who has goals in his boots, bravery and strength has a place on the pitch but they don't win games sadly.
aussie mike
My reply to Adlington2 is - goals win games, strikers normally score the goals as they are generally the ones who get the opportunity to score, goalscorers are the most valuable assets in the team. look at the results this season, how many shouted out for 1 or 2 goals, how many points lost ?we have not converted enough chances or made enough chances, we need more goals if we are to win more games. I love and admire Big Kev but until we hit the net far more often and our strikers are the ones who carry that responsibility, which means Big Kev, we are not going to get the victories and the points to climb up this league.
aussie mike
I too was suprised with the brilliant display from Dazza.
Muur
SKD played really well on Saturday, held the ball up well in the Birmingham half and some excellent lay-offs and touches, such as the set up for LCY goal and the handball for the penalty, you have to say he made a difference. If we can get one or two competent defenders in plus perhaps N'Gog, Sordell or Eaves hitting the target then we could start to climb the table.
anoraknophobia
Leeds should be a hard test, but the type of game we need to play and win if the players are to gain confidence in their ability. I hope the players and big Kev do us proud by giving us back to back wins, something we desperately need if we are to start climbing this league
aussie mike
 

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