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Middlesbrough Preview

By Mark Heys
April 17 2008

Bolton Wanderers will be hoping to build on last Saturday's morale boosting win over West Ham United when they travel to the Riverside Stadium to take on Middlesbrough this coming Saturday afternoon.

The win over the Hammers was Bolton's first in the league for two months and and as things currently stand the Trotters are two points adrift of safety in the relegation zone.

Away from the Reebok Stadium the Wanderers have claimed just one league win all season, with this occuring in early February when they defeated relegation rivals Reading in a 2-0 success at the Madejski Stadium.

Boro are the league's draw specialists at this moment in time having collected no fewer than four draws from the last six games and taking points off the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United.

Last week's Bolton hero Kevin Davies will be missing for the trip to Teeside as he begins a two match suspension and the injured Jussi Jaaskelainen, Ricardo Gardner and Nicky Hunt will also miss the trip up to the North East.

Heidar Helguson, Ricardo Vaz-Te, Stelios Giannakopoulos and Grzegorz Rasiak are all in the frame to take Davies place in attack should the Trotters go for a like for like forward replacement.

Alternatively, boss Gary Megson could reinstate midfielder Danny Guthrie to the side and move skipper Kevin Nolan further upfield alongside El-Hadji Diouf and Matthew Taylor.

Boro manager Gareth Southgate has a number of players currently receiving treatment for injuries with  Andrew Taylor (ribs), Mido (hernia), Robert Huth (foot), Matthew Bates (knee ligament), Seb Hines (knee) and Brad Jones (finger), all missing.

Midfielder Gary O'Neil, a rumoured target of Bolton earlier in the season, starts the first of a two game suspension after reaching ten yellow cards for the campaign.

Last January the Wanderers lost heavily at the Riverside by a 5-1 scoreline and back in November the two sides contested a rather drab goalless draw at the Reebok so Wanderers will be hoping their bad run against Boro takes a turn for the better.



BOLTON: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Gavin McCann, Andy O'Brien, Abdoulaye Meite, Gerald Cid, Danny Guthrie, Ivan Campo, Gary Speed (Andranik Teimourian), Kevin Nolan (Stelios Giannakopoulos), Kevin Davies, Ricardo Gardner.

SUBS NOT USED: Daniel Braaten, Lubomir Michalik, Ali Al-Habsi (GK)

BORO: Mark Schwarzer, Luke Young, David Wheater, Chris Riggott, Andrew Taylor (Emmanuel Pogatetz), Gary O'Neil, Lee Cattermole, George Boateng, Stewart Downing, Sanli Tuncay (Benjamin Hutchinson), Jeremie Aliadiere

SUBS NOT USED: Mohammed Shawky, Lee Dong-Gook, Ross Turnbull (GK)


Ian Bailey, Anthony Barness, Andy Campbell, Neil Cox, Andy Dibble, Allan Johnston, Alan Kernaghan, Gary Parkinson, Jimmy Phillips, Jamie Pollock, Kevin Poole, Michael Ricketts, Stuart Ripley, Andy Todd, Tom Woodward


Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen was sent off against Boro in November 2004 in the final minute and the resulting free kick from George Boateng flew past ex-Middlesbrough man Kevin Poole.

Former Boro, Bolton and England winger Stuart Ripley scored his first ever goal in football for the Wanderers in a 5-0 win over Newport County in 1986.

Neil Cox was part of the Boro side which reached the final of the FA Cup in 1997 but the full back did not take part in the game due to a row with Italian Fabrizio Ravenelli.

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