Setting The Scene
League points are once again the priority, as the Whites welcome Millwall to the Reebok this weekend.
Last Saturday saw Wanderers earn an FA Cup replay with Sunderland after an entertaining 2-2 draw, but the focus is very much back on the npower Championship, with Dougie Freedman’s side looking to earn their first win of 2013.
They face a Millwall side who, in many people’s books, have been the division’s surprise package this term. Last season saw Kenny Jackett’s men, battling relegation before pulling clear in the run-in and surviving with games to spare.
This year the Londoners began slowly with just two wins from their opening nine league fixtures, but a superb run of form throughout October and November saw the Lions propel themselves into the upper echelons of the league table.
The loan signing of striker Chris Wood from West Brom proved a masterstroke by Jackett, as the New Zealand international hit 11 goals in 19 games during his brief stint at the club.
But the Kiwi’s stay at The Den was cut short when fellow Championship side Leicester paid £2million to secure the striker’s services on a permanent deal.
Now the side will be looking to build on the platform they have given themselves in the first half of the season in the hope that they can maintain their hunt for a play-off place come May.
One To Watch - James Henry
James Henry is a versatile, attack-minded midfield player who can play either on the right wing or through the middle of the park.
Born in Reading, Henry began his professional career with his hometown club and penned his first contract with the Royals ahead of the 2006/07 season.
He spent brief spells on loan with Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth and Norwich to gain first team experience and, after returning to Reading, he made a handful of first team appearances.
He moved, initially on loan, to Kenny Jackett’s side in 2009 and earned a permanent move to The Den in the summer of 2010.
The midfielder has continued his development and is the club’s joint-top provider this term, with six assists to his name.
Dougie Freedman will be without both Mark Davies and Benik Afobe, who are suffering from should and hamstring injuries respectively. Matt Mills is also sidelined with a thigh.
Stuart Holden and Josh Vela both played for the development squad this week, but are unlikely to feature this weekend. Next week’s trip to Sunderland is a more realistic target for the pair.
David Wheater is back in first team training as he continues his rehabilitation from a knee injury, but the clash against the Lions comes too soon for the defender.
New signing Craig Davies faces a late fitness test.
|Bolton Wins||Draws||Millwall Wins|
Man In The Middle - Andrew Madley
The official from Wakefield in Yorkshire will take charge of the weekend’s encounter. So far this season Madley has refereed 20 games and shown a total of 59 yellow cards and one red.
The FanZone facility will be open from midday for 1,000 supporters. Fans must present a valid match ticket in order to gain entry.