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Jan 29, 2022 at 3pm UK
BoltonBolton Wanderers
Charles (19', 51'), Afolayan (42'), Lee (59'), Batth (85' og.), John (88')
Bakayoko (84')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Doyle (78'), Gooch (81')

Preview: Bolton Wanderers vs. Sunderland - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Bolton Wanderers vs. Sunderland - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's League One clash between Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Promotion-chasing Sunderland will be looking to make it back-to-back wins in League One when they make the trip to the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday to take on Bolton Wanderers.

The away side, who are second in the table, will enter the match off the back of a 1-0 victory over Portsmouth last weekend, while Bolton recorded a 1-0 win over Shrewsbury Town in their last match.

Match preview

Bolton made it back-to-back League One victories for the first time since early October last weekend when they ran out 1-0 winners at Shrewsbury courtesy of a late effort from Dion Charles.

The success moved the Trotters into 15th position in the table, boasting 32 points from their 26 league games this season, which has left them five points clear of the relegation zone.

Ian Evatt's side are 14 points off the playoffs, so it is unlikely that they will be able to challenge for a possible promotion in the second half of the campaign, but a mid-table finish certainly seems achievable.

Bolton against Sunderland is, without question, one of the standout matches at this level of football considering their respective histories, and Sunderland ran out 1-0 winners in the reverse match back in September, with Bolton's last success in this fixture coming in the Championship back in February 2018.

While Bolton are looking over their shoulders in League One, Sunderland are desperately trying to secure a return to the Championship, with the Black Cats currently second in the table, level on points with Wigan Athletic, but the current leaders have four games in hand on the side directly below them.

Sunderland are actually only two points clear of fourth-placed Wycombe Wanderers, so they are not secure in the automatic promotion positions, but they are 10 points ahead of seventh-placed Plymouth Argyle.

The visitors will enter this match off the back of a 1-0 victory over Portsmouth last weekend, with Elliot Embleton scoring the only goal of the contest in the latter stages of the first period.

Lee Johnson's side have the best home record in League One this season, boasting 34 points from their 14 matches at the Stadium of Light, but they have dropped points in nine of their 14 away league fixtures.

The Black Cats will be concerned by the fact that leaders Wigan and third-placed Rotherham have matches in hand at this stage of the season, so it is vital that they put another three points on the board this weekend.

Bolton Wanderers League One form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Bolton Wanderers form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Sunderland League One form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W

Team News

Bolton boss Evatt could name an unchanged side from the one that took to the field for the first whistle against Shrewsbury last time out, with Charles grabbing the winner late on.

That said, it would not be a surprise to see Oladapo Afolayan replace Kieran Lee in the starting XI, with the former potentially joining Charles and Amadou Bakayoko in a front three.

A 3-4-3 formation should also see Marlon Fossey continue on the right, with the 23-year-old impressing for Bolton since arriving from Fulham earlier this month.

As for Sunderland, on-loan Tottenham Hotspur attacker Jack Clarke is in contention to make his debut, with the 21-year-old expected to be among the substitutes this weekend.

Danny Batth and Corry Evans both came into the starting XI against Portsmouth last time out and should retain their spots in the side for this weekend's contest.

New signing Patrick Roberts could also make his debut against Bolton, with Johnson claiming that the attacker has a chance of being on the bench this weekend as he builds up his fitness.

Bolton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Trafford; Jones, Ricardo, Johnston; Fossey, Williams, Morley, John; Charles, Afolayan, Bakayoko

Sunderland possible starting lineup:
Hoffmann; Flanagan, Batth, Doyle; Gooch, Evans, Neil, Cirkin; Dajaku, Stewart, Embleton

We say: Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Sunderland

Bolton will be feeling good about themselves after back-to-back wins, but they will now take on one of the best sides in the division in the shape of Sunderland. We are expecting this to be a close contest at the University of Bolton Stadium but fancy the Black Cats to emerge victorious at the end of the 90 minutes.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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League One Table
1Rotherham UnitedRotherham27175548183056
2Wigan AthleticWigan25174447242355
4MK Dons29157748321652
5Wycombe WanderersWycombe29157746341252
6Oxford UnitedOxford Utd28147750331749
7Plymouth ArgylePlymouth28138747351247
8Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds27111063732543
9Ipswich TownIpswich29118104738941
10Burton Albion28116113534139
12Cambridge UnitedCambridge2891093840-237
13Accrington StanleyAccrington28107113545-1037
14Bolton WanderersBolton27105123937235
15Charlton AthleticCharlton2796123432233
16Shrewsbury TownShrewsbury2988132731-432
17Cheltenham TownCheltenham28711103246-1432
18Lincoln CityLincoln2787123236-431
19Fleetwood TownFleetwood2879124249-730
20AFC Wimbledon27611103240-829
22Crewe AlexandraCrewe2857162447-2322
24Doncaster RoversDoncaster2854192052-3219
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Premier League Table
1Manchester CityMan City23183255144157
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd2211563630638
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham23114841311037
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs2011362624236
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2110471916334
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2261242323030
10Leicester CityLeicester207583437-326
11Aston Villa2182112832-426
13Crystal Palace225983134-324
15Leeds UnitedLeeds215792440-1622
17Norwich CityNorwich2244141345-3216
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2129102143-2215
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