SCOUT'S REPORT: BOLTON
Top of the table Cardiff tackle Bolton in Saturday's late kick-off.
On Saturday evening, Cardiff City travel to the Reebok Stadium to face Bolton Wanderers for the first time since 1999.
This is the second time this season that the Bluebirds will come up against the coaching team of Dougie Freedman and Lennie Lawrence, following the 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park back in September. This game will be the second for Bolton since the appointment of Freedman, but will be the first for ex-City boss Lawrence, who was named assistant to Freedman on Thursday.
Bolton’s last fixture was an away tie against Middlesbrough, resulting in a 2-1 defeat for the Trotters who had taken the lead in the first half. Bolton have had a much poorer start to the season than most people expected and with just two wins from their last eleven games, it's evident to see why the managerial change came.
Bolton currently lie eighteenth in the league table and with the game against Cardiff kicking off at 5.20pm, they could be in danger of falling into the drop zone before kick-off, seeing as they are only three points clear of twenty-second placed Sheffield Wednesday. Despite being so low in the league, this will be far from a straightforward three points for Cardiff as Bolton have only lost one game out of six at home this term. That, added to a managerial change, could spell for a tricky night for the visiting Bluebirds.
Bolton Wanderers have a squad that contain a number of players with top-flight experience. Kevin Davies has been consistently scoring goals at the top level for a number of seasons and could prove to be a vital player if Bolton are to return to the Premier League. Despite his pedigree, he has only scored four goals thus far. The top goal scorer at the Reebok comes in the shape of Chris Eagles, who has netted six times and notched up five assists this term.KEY PLAYERS:
Last week's goal-scorer Lee-Chung Yong will be well known to Cardiff star Kim-Bo Kyung. Lee has had 41 appearances for South Korea and is an international team-mate of Kim. There is no doubt of Lee’s abilities as he was once named as one of the top 50 rising stars in football. Cardiff fans may know Bolton defender Sam Ricketts too, as he is a current Welsh international. His experience, alongside former England international and Aston Villa loanee, Stephen Warnock could prove a challenge for City’s attacking line. Another loan signing to look out for is Liverpool's Jay Spearing. His influence in midfield could prove valuable if Bolton are to pick up a result against high flyers Cardiff.
Cardiff and Bolton have not met since their rearranged cup-tie back in 1999, though they have not met in the league for a further nine years back in the old third division. Both games ended in away defeats for City. Bolton also have the better overall record, with 34 wins from the 69 ties. Cardiff have won 22 and there have been 13 ties ending all square. Cardiff have had very little success in the last five meetings, with only the one win. With there not being a tie between the two teams for the last 13 years there could be a very different outcome this time around.PREVIOUS RESULTS:
LAST MEETING: Bolton Wanderers 1 – 0 Cardiff City (21/12/1999)
This 1-0 defeat for Cardiff came in a rearranged fixture in the third round of the FA Cup, having previously been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. The goal was scored by future Barcelona player, Eidur Gudjohnsen in the twenty-ninth minute. After this win, Bolton went on a cup run all the way to the semi-finals where they were finally knocked out on penalties against Aston Villa.
Listen to live commentary of City v Bolton with Richard Shepherd and Mark Denham from 5pm on Cardiff City Player