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FA Cup Preview: Bolton Wanderers v Cardiff City

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FA Cup weekend approaches

Stu Forster

Bolton Wanderers welcome Premier League new boys Cardiff City to the Reebok Stadium this weekend in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup.

Wanderers despatched near neighbours Blackpool in the Third Round, whilst Cardiff defeated Newcastle United at St James' Park in what was new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first game in charge.

Former Manchester United gimp Solskjaer took over from popular Scot Malky Mackay following the latter's fall-out with controversial chairman Vincent Tan, and has since overseen the club's heroic slump to bottom of the Premier League.

However this is brushed under the carpet because it doesn't suit the media agenda which is firmly pro-Solskjaer and anti-Tan.

Anyway.

The weekend will bring about the 72nd meeting of the two sides. Wanderers have 35 wins to Cardiff's 22. Top scorer between the two clubs is former Bolton and Arsenal striker David Jack, with seven goals.

Form goes out of the window when it comes to the FA Cup. This will come as blessed relief for both sides.

Bolton especially.

Manager Dougie Freedman will be expecting to make changes following our 7-1 hammering at the hands of Reading at the weekend.

I would expect Adam Bogdan to come in for Andy Lonergan, who despite playing well of late STILL LET IN SEVEN GOALS.

Personally, I hope that we see the likes of Cian Bolger and Josh Vela given a game. I expect Samni Odelusi, Chris Lester, Zach Clough and Conor Wilkinson to be given a place in the squad, but whether they start the game or not is another matter.

As far as Cardiff are concerned, the goals have flowed since the arrival of the new manager. Away games have brought four in his two matches thus far, whereas they managed just one in the last six under Malky Mackay on their travels.

The bad news is that they are also conceding goals, four to Manchester City, two at home to West Ham, which has seen Solskjaer's side suddenly plunge to the bottom of the Premier League.

Chilean central midfielder Gary Medel will be key for the side, should he play. The hardman has been a shining light despite their struggles, and will be expected to anchor the Cardiff midfield.

Bolton fans may recognise a couple of members of the Cardiff squad - Joe Mason and Kevin McNaughton both enjoyed loan spells at the Reebok Stadium this season, with differing levels of success.

It'll be a tough game for Bolton Wanderers. A nice distraction, perhaps.

Last Five Meetings

19.08.1989 - Cardiff City 0 v 2 Bolton Wanderers (Tony Philliskirk, Julian Darby)

20.01.1990 - Bolton Wanderers 3 v 1 Cardiff City (Tony Philliskirk x2, Paul Comstive)

21.12.1999 - Bolton Wanderers 1 v 0 Cardiff City (Eidur Gudjohnsen)

03.11.2012 - Bolton Wanderers 2 v 1 Cardiff City (Martin Petrov, David Ngog)

27.04.2013 - Cardiff City 1 v 1 Bolton Wanderers (Chris Eagles)

Prediction

Heart Bolton Wanderers 0 v 0 Cardiff City

Head Bolton Wanderers 0 v 0 Cardiff City

It won't be pretty, and there'll be about 6,000 on. At best.