Bolton Wanderers vs Newcastle United Boxing Day match preview

Posted on December 26th, 2011 | 21 Comments |

Boton Wanderers manager, Owen Coyle.
A bad season at the office for Owen Coyle so far.
Venue: Reebok Stadium, Bolton.
Date: Monday 26th Dec, 2011.
Kick-off: 3.00pm.
Referee: Peter Walton.

Dear readers, for any of you who were expecting some kind of “normal” match preview for this Boxing Day away game against Bolton, I am writing this after a fairly messy Christmas Eve Party followed by two nights of very little sleep (none at all last night) and a couple of days full of Champagne overconsumption, hence an in depth analysis of the Trotters’ own kind of “Champagne” football isn’t really on my agenda at the moment. However you may get a bit of team news, a bit of history between the two sides and some opiniated waffle this time if you’re lucky.

Stats, previous matches etc…

The two sides come into this game with Newcastle United standing at seventh in the Premiership, with Bolton standing at second bottom. However the two sides do have roughly similar records as Newcastle’s terrific start to this season has somewhat inevitably crumbled into ashes.

Five of Bolton’s last six Premiership games have all been losses, however unlike we Magpies, they have actually managed a victory in that period, their last result being a 2-1 victory over fellow strugglers Blackburn Rovers. Meanwhile, while Newcastle United have only been defeated four times in our last six Premiership games, we have only managed to gain two points in that time, for draws against Manchester United and Swansea, which of course is one less than Bolton.

For all their current woes, Bolton’s “Trotters” have shown a bit of they’re capable of once or twice this season too. In the game before their losing streak described above, they chalked up a mighty 5-0 revenge mauling (for a 5-0 defeat in an FA Cup semi final last season) of the Premiership’s Pantomime villains, Stoke City. We could only manage a 3-1 victory against them earlier this season, but that was on their own (ever changing) home turf whereas Bolton’s victory was at their own place, the Reebok Stadium. In their opening game of this Premiership season too, they comprehensively beat Premiership new boys Queen’s Park Rangers 0-4 down in that London.

Some people may accuse me of yet more gloom and doom here, but we’re on something of a double bogey this afternoon. Of course, all of you long term fans out there with something approaching a memory will know that the Christmas / New Year games haven’t exactly been a happy hunting ground in recent times, and you may also recall that our record against Bolton at their place hasn’t exactly been magnificent either. Many will remember that our last game there ended in a 5-1 defeat in what was previous manager Chris Hughton’s poorest day at the Premiership office. We did manage a 1-1 draw back at St James’ Park later in that season though. Our record in Boxing Day games (home and away is Won 1, Lost 6, Drawn 3, meanwhile since Bolton first reached the Premiership under Bruce Rioch in 1995, our record in our ten games at the Reebok has been Won 2, Lost 8, Drawn 0. Still, attempting to put some kind of positive “spin” on these fairly abysmal records, if we do win, the victory will be all the sweeter, and even more with our current decline in form.

Before I move on to team news and such, there is one statistic which may be of some kind of significance, or not as the case may be – Bolton don’t seem to do draws at the moment, having drawn none of their Premier League games so far. Meanwhile Newcastle United have drawn six, with only Aston Villa drawing more with seven. Now I written that, it will probably be a draw!

Team news and squads

Bolton Wanderers

If you think that Newcastle United’s injury list has been rather well populated of late, then Bolton have been without midfielder Sean Davis with a knee injury for over two year now, and defender Sam Ricketts with his achilles for over ten months. Up and coming defender, Joe Riley, will definitely be out with his hamstring abd another defender, Marcos Alonso, will now be out with his foot until around February. Yet another defender, Tyrone Mears, broke his leg almost immediately after he joined the club from Burnley in August. Stuart Holden, another famous victim of Nigel De Jong’s infamous leg breaking tackles is not a defender, he’s a midfielder, but he’s another Bolton player who’s out for quite some time with a seemingly highly complex ligament/cartilage problem. The seemingly unlucky player was the victim of another horror tackle back in March, this time by Manchester United’s Jonny Evans which left him requiring 26 stitches. Then, we have yet another Bolton broken leg victim in South Korean winger, Lee Chung-Yong. Fianally, coming to the end of this long list of casualties, we have another Bolton midfielder, the vintage Ricardo Gardner out with his thigh. I wonder how the Newcastle United squad would cope with an injury list like that? Some of us should perhaps pause for thought we whinge about our own injury problems.

On a more positive note for the Trotters though, there’s a slim chance that the first two of that list, Davis and Ricketts may be making a comeback after their very long spells out. They’ve both taken part in a recent game for Bolton’s reserves but are still very much on the “doubtful” list due to match fitness like our own Mike Williamson in our last game. Defender David Wheater will be returning from a four match supension for picking up a second red card of the season.

Newcastle United

On the Magpies side, Centre Back Steven Taylor will still be out for months with his Achilles tendon, ditto with winger Sylvain Marveaux and his groin, with Danny Guthrie still out for a few weeks yet with his own groin problem. Dan Gosling will serve the last game of his three match suspension for a straight red card. There are some reports about Peter Lovenkrands being out for a few games with his calf. The club’s official site mentions nothing about it, but as most of you will know, the official site can be pretty hopeless sometimes for an official site, so I’ll put him down as a “doubtful”. Another doubtful who is mentioned on the official site is Davide Santon with a knee injury picked up in our last game against West Bromwich Albion and he will undergo fitness tests before the game apparently. Finally, much needed centre back, Mike Williamson should fianlly be ready for a return of some sort after his two long spells out, firstly with a broken arm picked up in a bizarre weight training incident, then an ankle / foot injury picked up soon after his return from the first injury. Finally, Yohan Cabaye should be returning from the lesser one game ban he picked up for five yellow cards.

Which leads to to the squads.


Bolton Wanderers (from): Jussi Jaaskelainen (G), Ádám Bogdán (G), David Wheater, Dedryck Boyata, Gary Cahill, Zat Knight, Chris Eagles, Paul Robinson, Fabrice Muamba, Martin Petrov, Kevin Davies, Ivan Klasnic, Tuncay Şanlı, Mark Davies, Darren Pratley, David Ngog, Robbie Blake, Gael Kakuta, Nigel Reo-Coker.

Injured: Joe Riley (hamstring), Marcos Alonso (foot), Tyrone Mears (broken leg), Stuart Holden (ligament/cartilage), Lee Chung-Yong (broken leg), Ricardo Gardner (thigh)

Doubtful: Sean Davis, Sam Ricketts (both match fitness).

Suspended: None.

Newcastle United (from): Tim Krul (G), Rob Elliot (G), Steve Harper (G), Danny Simpson, Ryan Taylor, Davide Santon, Shane Ferguson, James Perch, Fabricio Coloccini (C), Mike Williamson, Tamás Kádár, Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye, Gabriel Obertan, Hatem Ben Arfa, Jonas Gutierrez, Sammy Ameobi, Mehdi Abeid, Haris Vučkić, Alan Smith, Demba Ba, Leon Best, Shola Ameobi.

Injured: Sylvain Marveaux (groin / hip), Steven Taylor (Achilles tendon), Danny Guthrie (Gilmore’s Groin).

Doubtful:Davide Santon (knee) Peter Lovenkrands (calf).

Suspended: Dan Gosling.

Well I’m absolutely knacked now, so I’ll sign off soon, but not before reminding you that we will also be running our regular “match banter” feature which will go up around an hour before kick-off, and also some kind of match report and highlights too once the game is over so stay tooned! Oh! and

Howay the lads!

ps. I forgot to remind you that we will be featuring our regular “match banter” post today after all. It will be posted around an hour before the kick-off.

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1091 articles on this blog.

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21 Responses

  1. Got this down as a defeat….and expect us to pick up no points in the next 3 matches.
    Wish I could be more positive but even with all this festive cheer I am not expecting much from todays match.

  2. sirjasontoon says:
    December 26, 2011 at 9:51 am

    “but even with all this festive cheer”

    Aye SJT, thanks for giving me a good laugh this morning. :-)

    What’s happened to your challenge in the prediction competition? Looks like you’ve been following Newcastle United’s example!

  3. Morning Worky hope you and yours had a good xmas…..we didn’t sit down for xmas lunch until 6 last night the meat took a bit longer than I expected haha
    Great post by Trojan I read last night on the other thread…you predicting a defeat today?

  4. Morning SJT. Not too bad thanks, apart from having the sniffs and not getting any sleep. Hope you had a good one despite the problems with your bird.

    Have you ever heard of “Giordani” aftershave before? It’s not Geordie Armani is it? :-) I can’t smell f**kall ATM and someone gave me some as a Christmas present.

    As I may have suggested in the piece above, it’s so long since Bolton drew it may be time for that.

  5. I got a ton of smelly stuff…be smelling like a whore’s handbag later on Worky.
    Dinner was awesome and well worth the wait…only 2 of my yorkshire puddings stuck…the pesky little fookers!!

  6. Another defeat at Bolton on the cards I reckon our record is awful down there.Hope we can get in 2 or 3 signings next month before our season really goes down hill.

  7. Our start to the season was excellent but you had to be living in dreamland to think it could continue…..depth is the key and once players get knocks and suspensions (or are brought in cheap with a history of awful injuries) (santon/marveux) then the shit will always hit the fan at some point.

    Look at our strikers apart from BA…they are all useless and players like sammy,lovvenkrands,best,shola,perch,obertan are championship quality at best right now.

  8. My team against Bolton 4-3-3 krul, simson,williamson,coloccini,santon,tiote,cabaye,hba,jonas,ba,ober

  9. All the signs and portents suggest we are going to suffer this festive season.

    So, I am going for the optimistic version and predict a big win for us. You never know the anthromorphic effect might just work in our favour for once.

    Isn’t it nice to be seeing the Xmas season coming to a finish again for another year. I aint a Bah-Humbug type of person but I reckon Michael McIntyre got it right last night. All the other public holidays last a day or two but Xmas is endless. It’s a Lord of the Rings type quest culminating in one day of surfeit.

    My son’s partner was up at six this morning to attend the “Next” sale. No further comment needed!!

    (Apart from the fact that my dearest wife just spell-checked this comment so it should be grammatically perfect!!)

  10. Why play Obertan when all he does is give the ball away and stand off tackels ? Wow he is fast!! Did you ever see Dwayne Chambers try to play rugby ? Speed means nothing if you have nothing else going for you. He is hardly a grafter now is he.

  11. derek L – couldnt agree more, what’s the point in flying if u dont know how to land?

    Obertan simply doesnt get his head up, isnt thinking about where the ball’s going next….isnt thinking about where he’s going next…he just runs about like a hyper kid who drank a bit too much Happy Shopper lemonade on his way to school, and now he’s pooped his pants, the very same pants he’ll be hanging from by a coat peg at the end of the day.

    HBA will shine today if he’s played: i can feeeel it!

  12. Grumpy Old-Toon says:
    December 26, 2011 at 11:15 am

    “the anthromorphic effect might just work in our favour for once.”

    (Apart from the fact that my dearest wife just spell-checked this comment so it should be grammatically perfect!!)

    Hostage to fate there Grumpy. Tell the missus that her spellchecker’s knacked!

    Anthropomorphic. :-)

  13. Majacp says:

    December 26, 2011 at 10:56 am

    “My team against Bolton 4-3-3 krul, simson,williamson,coloccini,santon,tiote,cabaye,hba,jonas,ba,ober”

    Aye Majacp, but Pardew wouldn’t play that formation and he wouldn’t put Ben Arfa on the flank. If anyone did, it would be best to put Ben Arfa in front of Gutierrez on the left hand side of a front three. Defending is definitely the weaker side of his game.

  14. Worky I had to leave One error mate, just to see if anyone would spot it!! Thats my (her) excuse anyway. :)

  15. Pardew’s had this mentality of ‘if it ain’t broke’, well after 6 winless games… Time to change I reckon.

    Drop this static 4-4-f**king-2, and use a 4-4-1-1 / 4-2-3-1, a formation in which the majority of teams play these days.

    Do not play Obertan… But actually, we kind of have to don’t we, as Marveaux is (shock) knacked.

    Vuckic deserves to start behind Ba. Fabregas was 16 and playing in the first team, and Vuckic is the best young player we’ve had in a very long time. Not saying at present he is on a Fabregas level, but the point being Pardew will not keep him in the 1st 11, because he’ll more likely play Best.

    HBA is not good enough at present behind the main striker… He is a wide midfielder, always has been, always will be. He will not start wide though because Pardew likes his wingers to effectively be 2nd full-backs… Something in which HBA will not do.

    Perch will get murdered by Davies, so hopefully Williamson will start.

    Either way, I’m not confident today.

  16. desperately needing a defender that is already accustomed to the prem, samba from blackburn wud do the job well, and 2 strikers are still needed no matter how many jump on the fact Ba is getting goals, he will be at the african nations and what if was injured?. go get some1 like andy johnson and definately get olivier giroud , i think Ba could play with either of them when he returns too. lack of depth has found us out lets not let it happen again just because ashley wants to hoard the carroll and nolan money, not to mention wagees!

  17. Worky, Open another bottle of Bubbly. The recent consumption of it doesn’t seem to have effected your literary talents as this is a well written and interesting article.

    Congratulations and here’s to the next 500!!

  18. congrats worky job well done :)

    hope everyone had a great christmas,time to the football optimistic to say the least as i am hoping for a win and being nearly 2 in the morning when the match starts be a waist of day which will leave me depressed and tired for the rest of the day :). demba ba is on song will continue his scoring spree williamson is back to shore up the backline so things can only look up.

  19. Thanks Grumpy / nufc!

    Grumpy, I can’t tell if it’s well written or not. I got 0 hours sleep last night and about four the night before. Think I’ll manage to stay awake for the match though!

    The match banter should be up now.