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Match Preview: Leicester v Bolton

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Big game at the top of the tab.....oh no it's not

Matthew Lewis

The games are coming thick and fast over the Christmas period. Following a fine 1-0 away victory over bottom of the league Barnsley on Boxing Day, Wanderers face a tougher task when they travel to top of the league Leicester City on Saturday.

Bolton Wanderers and Leicester first met back in November 1899, Bell and Morgan scoring in a 2-2 home draw. Saturday's meeting will be the 69th time that we have faced the Foxes, with Bolton leading the way on 26 wins to their 21, with another 21 draws completing the set.

Leicester are currently managed by Nigel Pearson, currently in his second spell at the club. The 2013/14 season is their fifth consecutive Championship campaign, and they currently top the table following a fine 2-0 win on Boxing Day at home to fellow title rivals QPR.

Pearson eschewed the regular summer transfer spree, with Dean Hammond from Southampton being the only player brought in for a fee. Free transfers included Zoumana Bakayogo, Ryan Watson, Marcin Wasilewski and familiar name Gary Taylor-Fletcher from Blackpool.

Outgoings included a certain Jermaine Beckford to Bolton Wanderers, and Ben Marshall to Blackburn Rovers. Bolton manager Dougie Freedman had his eye on Marshall, though chose to sign Liverpool midfielder Jay Spearing instead.

Ignasi Miquel arrived on loan from Arsenal, though an astonishing ten players left the club on loan. This number was reduced to nine on 27th December when Neil Danns returned from a successful spell at Bolton.

As previously mentioned, Leicester are atop the Championship, having recorded 14 wins from 22 games, with just five defeats along the way. Top scorer for the Foxes is former Preston North End and Portsmouth man David Nugent with 11 goals, which is still some way behind League top scorer Ross McCormack of Leeds.

Along with their impressive league campaign, the club reached the fifth round of the League Cup before a 1-3 home reverse to Premier League side Manchester City in mid-December. They will be away to Premier League opposition in the Third Round of the FA Cup in January as they make the short trip to Stoke City.

Last Five Meetings

28.12.2003 - Bolton Wanderers 2 v 2 Leicester City (Bruno N'Gotty, Ivan Campo)

10.02.2004 - Leicester City 1 v 1 Bolton Wanderers (Ian Walker, o.g.)

30.11.2005 - Bolton Wanderers 2 v 1 Leicester City (Jared Borgetti, Ricardo Vaz Te)

06.11.2012 - Bolton Wanderers 0 v 0 Leicester City

16.04.2013 - Leicester City 3 v 2 Bolton Wanderers (David Ngog, Darren Pratley)

Prediction

Heart - Leicester City 1 v 1 Bolton Wanderers (Jermaine Beckford)

Head - Leicester City 3 v 0 Bolton Wanderers

An EXTREMELY tough game against a confident and in-form opponent. Wanderers will likely be without Neil Danns, unless a quick deal can be done, so I would expect Dougie Freedman to pack the midfield and go for an attritional approach. I doubt Wanderers' performance will be one for the ages.

COYWM