Preview: Sunderland v Bolton
Stadium of Light
It`s Halloween and what is scarier than any costume or dodgy, gory film?
Probably the meeting between the Championship`s bottom two clubs. Bolton travel to Sunderland, pairing a team that hasn`t won away this season, against a team that has freefalled out of the Premier League and has yet to win at home this calendar year. Wanderers have improved in recent weeks and will be hoping not to lose this at the absolute minimum to keep this mini-revival on track. A win would put us above the Mackems and maybe even above Burton, so maximum points would result in October being, wait for it, a good month.
"Sunderland is another big test but playing like that, I think the players will relish the challenge. We`ve got a few bumps and bruises but everyone else has to play Tuesday, so we`ll get on with it."
Phil Parkinson, speaking to the Bolton News over the weekend.
Sunderland Team News:
Everton loannee Tyias Browning is missing for Sunderland but otherwise Simon Grayson should have a full squad to pick from. Paddy McNair has recently returned from an injury layoff.
Player to watch: Aiden McGeady
Now a bit of a veteran, McGeady kick-started his career under Grayson at Preston before following him to the Stadium of Light in the summer. He has been one of their stronger performers, and with four goals and three assists, he has been involved in more of Sunderland`s goals than any other player, including a goal and assist in their sole win at Norwich. He is also a threat from range, all his goals coming from outside the box.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Andy Taylor`s back problem isn`t as bad as first feared, but Antonee Robinson will likely start, with Craig Noone and Will Buckley coming back into contention. Filipe Morais and Adam Le Fondre have knocks, with Connor Hall coming into the travelling squad.
Player to watch: Ben Alnwick
A string of decent perormances in recent weeks has seen Alnwick gain possession of the first- choice goalkeeper`s spot from Mark Howard. A trip to the Stadium of Light represents a return to the club where he started his career, impressing in spells before moving to Spurs in 2007.
Match Facts & Stats
This is a meeting between a side winless at home this season, taking on a team winless away from home.
Bolton last trip to Sunderland was in 2013, when we ran out 2-0 winners in an FA Cup third round replay. Marvin Sordell scored both goals that night.
Our last league trip was nine months earlier than that. In April 2012, it was Kevin Davies at the double as we drew 2-2
Bolton have five points from their last three games (W1 D2 L2) and are looking to complete an unbeaten October. Sunderland have drawn three and lost two of their last five points.
We have a habit of being a charity case when a team hasn`t won for ages. We also have killed off a few managerial reigns in our time. Logic would suggest this is the game to win, but the pessimist in me sees Sunderland nicking this. 2-1.
We host Norwich on Saturday, before travelling to Preston on the other side of the international weekend.