Bolton v Latics - Big Game Preview
When the new season fixtures come out in June there are certain games that you look for, the away game of a local derby is one that is usually high on the importance list, this is a game that I have been looking forward to since June.
With just six miles between the two grounds this is a real 'derby' and the atmosphere in the away end is always electric. This season with the Latics chasing promotion and Bolton just above the relegation zone the stakes are high.
Bolton have found some form of late and smacked in the goals, scoring 15 times in their last six games, they have picked up the points to make Championship safety an almost certainty, but will be looking to gain a win today to ensure that it is a certainty rather than almost.
In contrast the Latics incredible form has been carried over much more than six games and seen the club race to the playoff spots alongside reaching the FA cup semi final, a fantastic turn around since the arrival of Uwe Rösler at the helm following the sacking of former Bolton boss Owen Coyle.
There is also a feel good factor about today's game with around 500 people walking from the DW Stadium to the Reebok prior to kick off, the walk is in support of the Joseph's goal charity and this event should help add to a carnival atmosphere.
I'm looking forward to a great walk and a great game, hopefully three points for the Latics to make the day perfect.
What The Bosses Say:
Latics boss Uwe Rösler - 'In general we try to approach every game in the same manner because each time we are looking to get three points.
'A derby game like this is a little bit more special because it's always highlighted how important the game is for the fans and the Club.
'There will be more at stake this weekend, especially for our supporters and we want to make sure we make them proud.'
'I remember our last meeting with Bolton very well.
'We had a very good first half and Bolton came out strongly in the second half, but I think both teams have moved on and improved from that game in December.
'It will be a tough game again this time, but they are all like that now because it's the business end of the season and most teams have something to play for.'
Bolton boss Dougie Freedman - 'We just need to make sure we start the game properly and don't concede early doors like we did against them at their place.
'We need to stay strong in the middle and, as you have seen at the Reebok, we are always good for a finish.'
'They have got the biggest squad in this division and the manager knows what he is doing when it comes to rotation.'
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Matt Mills, Alex Baptiste, Jermaine Beckford and new loan signing Andy Robinson are all in with a chance of a start, but Stuart Holden, Joe Riley, Marc Tierney and Darren Pratley will all definitely miss out.
Bolton from - Bogdan, Hutton, Knight, Wheater, Ream, Danns, Davies, Chung-Yong Lee, Medo, Spearing, Jutkiewicz, Moritz, Mason, Beckford, Hall, Trotter, Lonergan, Kellett, Mills, Baptiste, Robinson.
Player to watch: Neil Danns
Wigan Athletic Team News:
Ben Watson, Chris McCann and Roger Espinoza are all out with long term injuries, Leon Barnett is doubtful with a hamstring strain.
Latics possible - Al Habsi, Perch, Boyce, Ramis, Beausejour, McArthur, Collison, Gomez, Waghorn, McManaman, Fortune
Player to watch: Jordi Gomez
Looking for our Jordi to have a big game this afternoon
By permission of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
There have been 42 previous meetings between the two clubs.
Latics 16 wins, Bolton 15, draws 11
Last Six Meetings
15 Dec 2013 - Championship - Latics 3 Bolton 2
11 Feb 2012 - Premier League - Bolton Wanderers 1 Latics 2
15 Oct 2011 - Premier League - Latics 1 Bolton Wanderers 3
16 Feb 2011 - FA Cup - Latics 0 Bolton Wanderers 1
29 Jan 2011 - FA Cup - Bolton Wanderers 0 Latics 0
05 Jan 2011 - Premier League - Bolton Wanderers 1 Latics 1
Last Time Out
Latics 3 Bolton 2
Goal scorers - Latics - Watson (pen) 11, Powell 24, McManaman 68 mins
Bolton - Danns 49, Moritz (pen) 64 mins
Referee - Kevin Friend
Attendance - 19,226
Latics - Carson, Boyce, Ramis, Barnett, Beausejour (Crainey 52), Watson (Perch 73), McCann, McArthur, McManaman, Powell, Holt (McClean 63)
Unused subs - Nicholls, Gomez, Keane, Fortune
Bolton - Lonergan, McNaughton, Mills, Ream, Baptise, Spearing, Pratley (Beckford 79), Danns (Davies 83), Moritz, Lee (Hall 89), Mason
Unused subs - Lee-Barnett, Knight, Medo, Eagles
Darren Drysdale (Lincolnshire)
Why not take a look at our 'Meet The Ref' article
Darren Drysdale Card Watch 2013/14
Games - 29, yellows - 91, reds - 8
Head says 1-1
Heart says Latics to win 0-2, as always going with the heart
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