Middlesbrough v Bolton Wanderers
Saturday 27 October, 2012
Kick-Off 3pmSetting The Scene
Recently-appointed Bolton boss Dougie Freedman will watch his new side from the stands this weekend, as academy manager Jimmy Phillips hopes to end his three-game stint in charge of first team affairs undefeated.
If that feat is to be achieved, Wanderers will have to overcome one of Phillips’ old sides, Middlesbrough, who are currently in the middle of a real purple patch.
Under the guidance of Tony Mowbray, Boro have won their last three games on the spin, securing away victories at Watford and Brighton, before beating Hull on home soil earlier this week.
Phillips made 170 appearances for Middlesbrough, turning out regularly at the club’s former home Ayresome Park.
Similar to Wanderers, Boro relocated to new multimillion pound stadium in the mid-1990s and enjoyed a number of years in top flight, as well as campaigns in the UEFA Cup.
The two sides also famously met in the 2004 League Cup final, with Boro running out 2-1 winners against Sam Allardyce’s side at the Millennium Stadium.
Both sets of fans will no doubt harbour hopes promotion back to the time, with a potential three points on Saturday another step in that direction.
There are no fresh injury concerns for Wanderers following the 2-2 draw with Wolves.
Goalscorer Benik Afobe with substituted at half time in the Molineux clash, with Jimmy Phillips revealing after the match that the decision to withdraw the on-loan Arsenal man was a tactical one.
Matt Mills however, did leave the field of play with a hamstring complaint, but has recovered to put himself in contention for the trip to Teeside.
Andy Lonergan (knee) will once again miss out, with the goalkeeper expected to be sidelined for approximately six weeks. Jay Lynch is expected to take up a place on the substitutes’ bench.
Long-term absentees remain in the shape of ex-Boro boy David Wheater, Josh Vela and Stuart Holden (all knee), though the latter has returned to Euxton to resume his rehabilitation work following a stint in America.
The hosts are boosted by the return of Jonathan Woodgate (muscle stiffness), Justin Hoyte and Merouane Zemmama (both hamstring).
Kevin Thomson (calf), Luke Williams (hip flexor), Lukas Jutkiewicz (lateral ligament), Muzzy Carayol, Curtis Main (both knee) and Rhys Williams (ankle ligament) are all still on a lengthy injury list.
One To Watch – Marvin Emnes
After finally acclimatising to English football following a £3.2million move from Sparta Rotterdam in 2008, Marvin Emnes is now a regular source of goals for Boro.
A number of stop-start campaigns had previously seen the former-Netherlands Under-21 international frustrated at the Riverside Stadium, though last term the 24-year-old hit a rich vein of goalscoring form.
He netted 18 in total, with Tony Mowbray’s men narrowly missing out on a play-off berth. Though with Emnes starting this season in similar fashion, with four goals to his name, the Riverside crowd will be hoping their side can go one better this time round.
Man In The Middle - Gary Sutton
|Middlesbrough Wins||Draws||Bolton Wins|
Lincoln-based official Gary Sutton will take charge of Saturday’s game. He has so far shown 27 yellow and one red card in nine games this season
Sutton sent off three Boro players last season – Joe Bennett, Kevin Thomson and Julio Arca.
Tickets will be available for Bolton fans to buy on the day of the game from the South Stand. For more information and ticket prices click here
Live uninterrupted commentary of the match will be available on Wanderers Player. The broadcast is set to start at 2.30pm with supporters invited to contribute to the show by sending their thoughts and predictions to firstname.lastname@example.org . For more information on Wanderers Player click here