Setting The Scene
Wanderers will be hoping to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat at Watford as Dougie Freedman’s side welcome neighbours Burnley to the Reebok on Saturday afternoon.
Marvin Sordell scored the Whites’ only goal on his return to Vicarage Road, converting a 32nd-minute penalty after Sam Ricketts was fouled in the Hornets’ area.
But a strike from Matej Vydra four minutes later and Amen Abdi’s second-half effort snatched victory for Gianfranco Zola’s side in Hertforshire.
Freedman will be keen to get his players back on the pitch as they attempt to claim the three points that will assist their move up the table. But they face a stern test against local rivals Burnley who are enjoying a prosperous campaign under new manager Sean Dyche.
The Clarets experienced a difficult start to the current campaign under former boss Eddie Howe, suffering back-to-back defeats in August against Middlesbrough and Huddersfield Town. But their form began to turn in the following months as the Lancashire-based outfit claimed four victories in September and October moving the club away from the drop zone.
With the Clarets in the bottom half of the table, Howe left Turf Moor in October to begin his second stint at charge at Bournemouth - and the club wasted no time in appointing former Watford manager Dyche as the new man in charge.
The 41-year-old made a dream start as his side secured consecutive home victories over Wolves and Leeds United. The Clarets’ form continued to improve, inspired by the inspirational Charlie Austin, as Burnley moved within touching distance of the play-off places at the turn of the year.
One To Watch – Charlie Austin
Frontman Charlie Austin has been one of the stand-out players of the Championship season to date, as his goal-scoring exploits have helped the Clarets move within touching distance of the play-offs.
The forward was the club’s first signing under previous manager Eddie Howe, and the former Swindon Town man has proved to be a huge success since moving to Turf Moor in January 2011.
Austin would suffer a dislocated shoulder on his debut for the Clarets, restricting the striker to just four appearances in his maiden season with the Lancashire-based club.
But the 23-year-old returned with a spring in his step finding the net 17 times in his first full season with the club.
Now in his second season with the Clarets, Austin has proven to be one of the Championship’s most prolific strikers. In 25 league appearances the striker has netted 21 goals, notching up the feat in his previous outing last weekend against Peterborough.
Dougie Freedman has been boosted by the return to training of Mark Davies, but the manager rates the central-midfielder as only 50050 for Saturday.
David Wheater and Stuart Holden, who both featured in Wanderers’ development squad last Friday, have also stepped up their recoveries from long-term injuries, but neither will be ready for Saturday’s Championship fixture.
Wanderers will be waiting on the fitness of new singing Medo Kamara while West Brom loanee Craig Dawson is in contention for a starting place in Freedman’s side.
But Keith Andrews, Matt Mills (both thigh) and Joe Riley (foot) will all miss this weekend’s derby clash through injury.
|Bolton Wins||Draws||Burnley Wins|
Man In The Middle – Christopher Foy
Merseyside-based referee Christopher Foy will take charge of Wanderers’ home clash with Burnley on Saturday afternoon. He has so far shown 44 yellow cards and one red in 24 games this season.
FanZone will be open from midday ahead of the game, with a number of special offers on food before 1.30pm.
Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here
, over the phone on 0844 871 2932 or in person at Bolton Central. Those who make use of the online facility can choose to print their match tickets from the comfort of their own home or office.