Sunderland - Bolton Preview: Black Cats have beaten Trotters in third round four times in a row
Martin O'Neill's side enjoy a fine record against the Lancashire side at this stage of the competition and will be hoping to make home advantage count on Tuesday evening
By Sam Wells
Gardner, O'Shea, Bramble, Colback
Johnson, Larsson, Vaughan, McClean
Ricketts, Knight, Ream, Alonso
Lee, Andrews, Spearing, Eagles
K Davies, Ngog
Sunderland remain stricken by defensive injuries as, with Wes Brown (knee), Carlos Cuellar (hamstring) and Danny Rose (hamstring) all still sidelined, Craig Gardner and Jack Colback look set to deputise in full-back roles once again.
Captain Lee Cattermole (knee) also remains out injured, but, other than that, the Black Cats are free of injuries, meaning Martin O'Neill is able to field the same team that romped to an impressive 3-0 win against West Ham on Saturday.
O'Neill, however, is unable to field new signing Alfred N'Diaye, as, following his move from Bursaspor earlier in the transfer window, he was not registered in time for the first clash between these sides.
Meanwhile, the away side receive a boost as Stuart Holden and Josh Vela look set to return to the squad after long-term lay-offs; although unlikely to start, they could both make appearances off the bench.
Unfortunately, Mark Davies (shoulder) and Matt Mills (thigh) remain sidelined, as does David Wheater (knee), though his return appears imminent as he is set to play a reserve game next Monday to end a long spell out.
Striker Marvin Sordell, having scored in the initial 2-2 draw between these two sides and impressed in Saturday's clash with Millwall, is pushing for a start, though David N'Gog and Kevin Davies' experience could leave him forced to be content with a spot on the substitute's bench.
New signing, Craig Davies, is unable to feature however, as, following a £300,000 move from Barnsley, he will have to wait until the weekend for his debut for the same reasons as Sunderland's N'Diaye.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Sunderland have advanced in five of the six previous occasions that they were drawn against the Trotters in the FA Cup.
- This, in fact, would be their fourth successive third round win over their regular cup adversaries - the previous three having come in 1984, 2003 and 2009.
- Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has made the most saves of any goalkeeper in the Premier League (120), indicative of a frustrating season for the Black Cats thus far.
- Bolton's inability to capitalise on their two goal advantage in the 2-2 draw leading to this replay has been the story of their season thus far; they have lost 21 points from leading positions in the Championship - a league high.
- The last time Stuart Holden (pictured right) played against Sunderland was on the 18th December 2010, three months prior to his injury; Bolton lost 1-0, a defeat that left them seventh in the Premier League - they now sit sixteenth in the Championship.
- Bolton have won the FA cup on four occasions, twice more than the Black Cats.
- Sunderland, however, have won it more recently; they last won it in 1973, while the Trotters' last cup triumph was in 1958.
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Top 3 Predictions
Sunderland 2-0 Bolton Wanderers
- 15.21 %
Sunderland 2-1 Bolton Wanderers
- 15.21 %
Sunderland 3-1 Bolton Wanderers
- 9.94 %
|FA Cup (FA)||15 Jan 2013||Sunderland 0 - Bolton Wanderers 2|
|FA Cup (FA)||5 Jan 2013||Bolton Wanderers 2 - Sunderland 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||28 Apr 2012||Sunderland 2 - Bolton Wanderers 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||22 Oct 2011||Bolton Wanderers 0 - Sunderland 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||7 May 2011||Bolton Wanderers 1 - Sunderland 2|
|19 May 2013||Tottenham 1 - Sunderland 0||EPL|
|12 May 2013||Sunderland 1 - Southampton 1||EPL|
|6 May 2013||Sunderland 1 - Stoke City 1||EPL|
|29 Apr 2013||Aston Villa 6 - Sunderland 1||EPL|
|20 Apr 2013||Sunderland 1 - Everton 0||EPL|
|Returns:||Sunderland £710.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Draw £340.00||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Returns:||Bolton £55.00||Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
|3||Marcos Alonso Mendoza||Defender|
The Black Cats' winger has had a, to put it politely, mixed start to the season, as, alongside the furore surrounding the poppy incident in November, his performances have declined notably, contributing to a similarly disappointing first half of the season for his team. However, he scored in a convincing 3-0 win against West Ham on Saturday (only his second Premier League goal of the season) and he'll be hoping to build on that with an effective performance against Championship opposition, continuing a cup run that would help the struggling northern outfit to no end.
The striker has always struggled to score goals and that has been the case again this season, despite playing at a lower level; he has scored four in sixteen games in the Championship which, though better than his record in the Premier League with Bolton (three in 35 games), still suggests that he simply does not contribute enough goals to be an efficient starting striker. With Marvin Sordell increasingly putting pressure on his starting place, it'll be interesting to see whether the former Liverpool man can step up to the mark against top-flight opposition.
With the Trotters' spurning a golden chance to progress to the fourth round in the initial tie (having been two goals to the good with half an hour remaining), one cannot help feeling that their chance to cause an upset has passed them by. This wasted opportunity lingering in Bolton's collective mind, coupled with the Black Cats' home advantage, means that the Premier League outfit should, eventually, prevail.
Times In GMT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed