Match Preview: Barnsley v Bolton

Nigel Roddis

Christmas cheer for the Super Whites?

So Bolton Wanderers make the short journey across the Misty Mountains to Yorkshire where they face Barnsley on Boxing Day.

The fixture which dates back to 1899, which saw Bolton run out 6-1 away winners in another Boxing Day game between the two sides. So, exactly 114 years later what can we expect from our latest trip to Oakwell?

Barnsley began the season with David Flitcroft in charge - the Bolton-born former Preston North End and Bury midfielder having taken over from Keith Hill as manager in December 2012. However, a string of poor results saw Flitcroft dismissed and former manager Danny Wilson return to the club.

Wilson had been in charge of the Tykes from 1993 to 1998 and oversaw a period in the sun which brought the club Premier League football and, naturally, financial ruin. His return to the club follows spells at Sheffield Wednesday, Bristol City, MK Dons, Hartlepool, Swindon Town and Sheffield United.

Barnsley under Flitcroft brought in ten new players this summer including familiar names such as Paddy McCourt from Celtic and Jack Butland from Stoke City, the latter on loan. The same number departed the club including former West Ham man Marlon Harewood, who has a really small head.

Two wins in the opening twelve games was enough for the club to dismiss Flitcroft (if only we had had the bollocks to do the same eh), though results since have hardly pointed to an improvement in fortunes - Barnsley last recorded a win back on 19th October, at home to Middlesbrough.

Familiar names in the Barnsley squad include former Swansea and Wigan striker Jason Scotland, on-loan Nottingham Forest striker Marcus Tudgay and Big Fat Gypsy Wedding star Paddy McCourt who is a real dangerman for the Yorkshire club, when he can be arsed.

Boxing Day will bring about the 38th meeting of the two sides. Bolton currently edge things with 13 wins to Barnsley's 12 - with another 12 draws inbetween.

Joint top scorers for Wanderers in this fixture with four goals are Sam Marsh and Ray Westwood.

Last Five Meetings

26.02.2000 - Barnsley 1 v 1 Bolton Wanderers (Dean Holdsworth, pen)

11.11.2000 - Bolton Wanderers 2 v 0 Barnsley (Michael Ricketts, Ricardo Gardner)

28.04.2001 - Barnsley 0 v 1 Bolton Wanderers (Michael Ricketts)

17.11.2012 - Bolton Wanderers 1 v 1 Barnsley (Kevin Davies)

02.03.2012 - Barnsley 2 v 3 Bolton Wanderers (David Ngog, Jay Spearing, Craig Dawson)

Prediction

Heart - Barnsley 0 v 2 Bolton Wanderers (Joe Mason, Chris Eagles)

Barnsley are in worse of a funk than we are - we should have enough to get a comfortable win.

Head - Barnsley 1 v 1 Bolton Wanderers (Joe Mason)

Two shit teams cancelling each other out.

COYWM

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