After two successive defeats, Owen Coyle’s men look to get back to winning ways at home to a weakened Black Cats side who have underachieved in the season half of the season
|Bolton Wanderers (4-4-2): Jaaskelainen; Steinsson, Cahill, Wheater, Robinson; Lee, Muamba, Cohen, Petrov; Elmander, K Davies.
Owen Coyle continues to be without influential midfielder Stuart Holden, full-back Sam Ricketts and midfielder Sean Davis, while on-loan striker Daniel Sturridge is also a doubt with the foot problem that kept him out of the defeat at Blackburn. Jussi Jaaskelainen is set to return after Adam Bogdan came in for the Ewood Park trip.
|Sunderland (4-5-1): Mignolet; Onouha, Turner, Mensah, Bardsley; El Mohamady, Cattermole, Colback, Henderson, Muntari; Sessegnon.
Steve Bruce has massive injury problems and he goes into this game with no fit strikers available to him. And Asamoah Gyan, Danny Welbeck, Frazier Campbell and Ryan Noble are all long term casualties so Bruce will have to cope without them for the remaining games of the season. Kieran Richardson and goalkeeper Craig Gordon are also unavailable for the Black Cats, who are trying to get to the end of the season as quick as possible.
- Bolton has lost its last two matches, but both games were away from home. However, Coyle’s men have not lost in their last six matches at the Reebok Stadium and beat Arsenal in their last home game.
- Bolton is a confident side at home this season. It has won the most games at home of any team outside of the top five. Coyle (pictured right) has seen his side average just under two goals per game at home this season and the team has only been beaten twice on its own pitch.
- Sunderland is unbeaten in the last four meetings between these two sides, and it has taken all three points in the last three games.
- The clubs have met 142 times in their history, with the Black Cats winning 61, Bolton 49 and 32 draws. Sunderland has scored 237 goals against Bolton, with the northwest side only managing 193.
- Sunderland has not won away from home in the last five attempts, and the club has only won once in last 10 matches. The club is still not mathematically safe from relegation, but it is six points clear of the bottom three.
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- With all four strikers on the sidelines Sunderland will have to rely on other members of its squad to win games for it, but this will be a big ask because the strikers have scored all but 12 of the 39 goals netted this season. And to make matters worse for the traveling supporters, Bruce’s men average less than a goal a game away from home this season.