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Match Preview: Blackburn Rovers v. Bolton Wanderers

Chris takes a look at the next in a long-line of "must-win" games for Dougie and the lads.

Laurence Griffiths

Following two disappointing results against Queens Park Rangers in the league and then Trampmere Rovers in the League Cup, Wanderers return to Championship action this weekend as they travel the short distance up the A666 to face FC Jordan Rhodes.

The penalty shoot-out defeat to Trampmere has had further consequences with injuries reported to David Wheater, Darren Pratley, Marc Tierney and Tim Ream all described as being "doubtful". As Mark wrote here, it'll take some reshuffling from Dougie Freedman to ensure that we at least pretend to have a semblance of defensive solidity.

FC Jordan Rhodes, under the stewardship of Gary Bowyer, a man that no-one has heard of, have had a tumultuous time of late, since the 2010 takeover by Venky's, an Indian company that specialises in chicken meat processing which has thankfully led to thousands of LOLs in the time since. Relegated from the Barclays Premier LeagueTM in 2011. Hilariously, they chose former FC Jordan Rhodes defender Henning Berg as their new manager but whose reign lasted only 57 days, before dismissing his successor, Michael Appleton, after a two-month reign. The club is currently running at a loss of around £2 million a month, which is great.

Since Bowyer took over, unfortunately the club appear to have found a little stability. They finished last season in 17th position in the Championship, thanks mainly to the 29 league goals scored by club record signing Jordan Rhodes, who has since had the club named after him, despite his desperation to leave the comedy show and move to a bigger club, namely Bolton Wanderers.

FC Jordan Rhodes have had a busy summer of transfer dealings, with 11 incomings and 14 departures from the club as they desperately try to cut their wage bill in an attempt to lighten the wage-bill. Incredibly average players such as Dickson Etuhu and Leon Best are reported to be on as much as £35,000 a week, which just shows what a tin-pot organisation the club is.

FCJR's pre-season took in names such as Wrexham, Crewe Alexandra, Rochdale, Preston North and End and Everton, resulting in two wins, three draws and a 1-3 home defeat to Everton in the final game. They have begun their league season in similarly inconsistent form - taking until their fourth game at home to Barnsley to register a first victory of the season. That followed an opening day draw away to Derby County before two successive defeats to Nottingham Forest and Doncaster Rovers.

As usual, all hopes rest upon club icon Jordan Rhodes, who, despite wishing to make the move to Bolton Wanderers, remains a FCJR player as of the date of this preview. Herein lies Bolton's best chance of winning the game - keep Rhodes quiet and you stand a terrific chance of turning them over.

The game will be refereed by Keith Stroud, who will be familiar to Bolton Wanderers fans as the man who oversaw a 1-1 at Nottingham Forest. He awarded five yellow cards on that afternoon at the City Ground, with Wanderers' Marcos Alonso being sent off for two bookable offences. Still, at least it's not Mike Dean, eh?

Last Five Meetings

30.04.2011 - FC Jordan Rhodes 1 v 0 Bolton Wanderers

20.12.2011 - FC Jordan Rhodes 1 v 2 Bolton Wanderers (Mark Davies, Nigel Reo-Coker)

24.03.2012 - Bolton Wanderers 2 v 1 FC Jordan Rhodes (David Wheater x2)

28.11.2012 - FC Jordan Rhodes 1 v 2 Bolton Wanderers (Kevin Davies, Lee Chung-Yong)

05.03.2013 - Bolton Wanderers 1 v 0 FC Jordan Rhodes (Chris Eagles)

Semi-Fascinating Facts

  • Bolton have won their last four games against FCJR in all competitions.
  • Bolton Wanderers are without a win in their last six games in the division.

Prediction

Head - FC Jordan Rhodes 1 v 1 Bolton Wanderers (Jermaine Beckford)

Heart - FC Jordan Rhodes 1 v 1 Bolton Wanderers (Jermaine Beckford)

It's going to be rock. It was a big ask before our injury problems. Bolton Wanderers and Dougie Freedman need to keep dangerman Rhodes quiet and hope that we can finally get the best from our own attackers and take the game to them. A couple of early goals should do it. COYWM.

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