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Match Preview: Bolton Wanderers vs Sunderland

One of the biggest games of the League One season is up next for Wanderers.

Bolton Wanderers v Oxford United - Sky Bet League One Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport/ via Getty Images

Bolton Wanderers welcome high flying Sunderland to the Reebok this weekend for Kieth Hill’s third game in charge of the club.

Wanderers by all accounts played well in their 0-0 draw against Oxford United on Tuesday night, creating plenty of opportunities to win the game. This symbolises a vast improvement on their previous outing at Rotherham United.

Sunderland have only lost one league game this season and that was quite some time ago. They are currently sat in fourth, four points off league leaders Coventry City with a game in hand. They recently dumped Premier League Burnley out of the League Cup.

Certainly at this stage of the season Sunderland look a good bet for at least a play off place. Does this game against the high flyers come too early in Bolton’s development under Hill, or is it in fact the perfect opportunity with the pressure off for Bolton to hit top gear?

It promises to be quite the atmosphere at the Reebok either way with Sunderland having sold their full 4,500 allocation and it being Bolton’s first weekend home game since the take over.

Team news

Rotherham United v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet League One
Verlinden smashes home Bolton’s early goal at Rotherham.
Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images

Stoke City loanee Thibaud Verlinden was withdrawn from proceedings in mid week as a precaution and it is hoped he will be fit to start against Sunderland.

It has been reported that Chris O’Grady and former Black Cat Daryl Murphy still have some progress to make to over come the injuries they pick up in the lead up to the Rotherham game. This means it is likely that William Buckley will once again start through the centre of the Bolton attack.

Sunderland have no new injury concerns with some bloke called Duncan Watmore the only absentee. Their team continues to include the once sought after Aiden McGeady who will likely start for the visitors.

Match odds

Bolton win - 11/2

Draw - 18/5

Sunderland win - 2/5

Match prediction

I suspect Sunderland will continue their good start to the season with a win. Indeed that would be continuing fantastic form against Bolton having only lost two of the last 12 meetings between the teams which includes three wins and a draw in the last five at the Reebok. That one loss came in the last meeting between the sides as Sunderland dropped out of the Championship.

I hope and expect it will be relatively close though, Bolton 1 - 3 Sunderland.