Setting the Scene
Bolton are back on the road on New Year’s Day as they make the trip to Elland Road in their first fixture of 2013.
The last time Wanderers travelled across the Pennines to take on a Leeds side was November 2003 when goals from Kevin Davies and Stelios Giannakopoulos secured a 2-0 success.
A lot has changed since then, with the Yorkshire side going through a period of administration, slipping down two divisions to League One, before gaining promotion back to the Championship in 2010.
They are now in their third season in the second tier of English football and with Dubai-based GFH Capital recently completing a takeover of the club, supporters will be hoping for a return to the Premier League in the not-too-distant future.
Neil Warnock has been in the Elland Road hot-seat for ten months and in him, Leeds have a manager who has won promotion to the top flight on three occasions, taking Notts County up in the early 1990s, hometown club Sheffield United in 2006 and, most recently, Queens Park Rangers in 2011.
The experienced tactician has overseen an up and down first half of the season, starting with three league wins out of four. But after a run of seven Championship matches without a win throughout October and November, including a 6-1 trashing at home to Watford, they slipped to 18th.
An upturn in form has seen them improve their standing and they find themselves in 9th position in the league going into the New Year.
One To Watch - Luciano Becchio
Despite missing the recent game against Hull with a thigh strain, the Argentine has been the focal point of Leeds’ attack so far this season and is a huge favourite of the Elland Road faithful with his tireless running and impressive goalscoring record.
He joined in the summer of 2008 with the club embarking on their second season in League One and proved an instant hit, netting a total of 19 goals in 2008/09 and a further 20 the following campaign, which helped Leeds to promotion.
He made a smooth transition to life in the Championship, ending his first season in the division with another 20-goal haul.
This time around he has been just as prolific, already finding the net 17 times with Leeds fans hoping he is fit enough to feature against Wanderers.
Mark Davies (shoulder), Matt Mills (thigh), Josh Vela and David Wheater (both knee) are all definitely out.
Stuart Holden continues to step up his rehabilitation work but the game will come too soon for the American international.
David Ngog is expected to be fit enough to return to the matchday squad after missing the recent win against Birmingham.
All Time Record
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Man In The Middle - Philip Gibbs
The match will be refereed by West Midlands official Philip Gibbs. So far this season he has taken charge of 20 matches, showing a total of 51 yellow cards and 2 red.
Tickets will be available for Bolton fans to buy on the day of the game from the away turnstiles. For more information click here