18th place in the Championship. Bolton Wanderers have got to find form and quick. We've told you not to worry about the table just yet but we're nearly 1/5 of the way through the season (mind, we still have a whole Premier League season in terms of games to go) and we're starting to get worried. So far, this season, Bolton have bounced back from every loss with a win and we sure do hope that will be the case against Leeds United.
In four games at the Reebok Stadium so far, Bolton have won two, drawn one, and lost one. Pretty positive at home so far. This is the first time that Bolton have met Leeds United since the 2003/2004 season when the Trotters did the double over United with a 4-1 win at home and 2-0 away. Bolton will also welcome back El-Hadji Diouf, who spent three years with Bolton, making 88 appearances. Diouf has been in very good form for Leeds, having scored three in his eight appearances this season with two of those goals coming against Bristol City at the weekend.
All time between the two teams, Bolton hold the advantage in wins. That advantage, however, is slight. In the 59 previous meetings between the two clubs, Bolton have won 25, Leeds have taken 22, and the two sides evenly split the remaining 12.
Their last meeting, Bolton's 4-1 home win, effectively relegated Leeds to the Championship after Mark Viduka was sent off. Leeds went up a goal with Jouri Djorkaeff leveling right after half time. Djarkaeff doubled six minutes later and an own goal stuck the dagger in Leeds before Kevin Nolan hit Bolton's fourth near the end. The side that Bolton put out at the time was one that many fans will certainly remember: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Jay-Jay Okacha, Kevin Nolan, Kevin Davies, Stelios Giannakopoulos, Youri Djarkaeff, Henrik Pedersen, and Ivan Campo among others.
As for this upcoming match, Bolton will be without Marcos Alonso once again as the calf injury he picked up against Sheffield Wednesday will keep him sidelined. Stephen Warnock will most likely start at left back again. Meanwhile, Benik Afobe, who had precautionary scans on his groin over the weekend, should be fit and will likely be on the bench.
Neil Warnock will look to feature Luke Varney, Ross McCormack, and Paul Green with Michael Brown remaining a fixture in Leeds' midfield. On top of El-Hadji Diouf, Bolton will also have to worry about Luciano Becchio. The Argentine striker has scored six goals in eight league games this season and seven in all competitions.
Premier League referee Phil Dowd will be in charge for the match.