MARTIN O’NEILL & his charges will be looking to get back on track this weekend as they host Bolton Wanderers.
A recent run of six league and cup fixtures without a win has seen the Black Cats slip to 11th in the Premier League table, with the final four games in that sequence failing to yield a goal.
Bolton on the other hand have it really tough, as they look to scrap their way to survival. Owen Coyle’s side are only in the relegation zone by a point, and do have the advantage of having played one less game than everybody else around them.
O’Neill on Bramble’s injury problems:
“If you had told me back in December that I wouldn`t have him back to call on until almost the end of April, I`d have been tearing my hair out – he was looking an important player for us.
“You`ve got to treat Achilles injuries with respect, and we did that, but he kept having setbacks that appear to be behind him now.’
Source: Shields Gazette.
Sunderland Team News:
Sunderland will be without winger Sebastian Larsson and utility man Kieran Richardson for the rest of the season after the pair both went under the knife.
Craig Gardner is suspended following his red card at Villa last weekend, meaning David Vaughan could partner Jack Colback in the midfield with Lee Cattermole also battling for fitness.
Titus Bramble is back in training but Saturday should come too early for the centre-back.
Wes Brown is also injured.
Likely line-up: Mignolet; Bardsley, Turner, Killgallon, O’Shea (c); Campbell, Vaughan, Colback, McClean; Sessegnon; Bendtner.
Player to watch: Fraizer Campbell
Unless O’Neill makes the surprise decision to call on Ahmed Elmohamady this weekend, it looks like Fraizer Campbell will be included in the starting XI that take on Bolton.
Whether the former Manchester United forward plays wide right or in behind Nicklas Bendtner remains to be seen though.
Whilst a striking role would be Campbell’s preference, the form of Stephane Sessegnon ‘in the hole’ behind Bendtner has been majestic, and O’Neill would be loathe interrupt the form of the Benin international.
Either way, Campbell is sure to work his socks off for the cause.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Bolton could without as many as six first-team players for tomorrow’s game according to Coyle.
Winger Chung-Yong Lee is definitely out as he continues he recovery from a broken leg whilst Ryo Miyachi (shoulder), Chris Eagles, Darren Pratley (virus) and Mark Davies are all touch and go.
Likely line-up: Bogdan; Steinsson, Wheater, Ream, Ricketts; Petrov, M.Davies, Reo-Coker, Gardner; N’Gog & K.Davies.
Player to watch: Adam Bogdan
The young Hungarian ‘keeper has come on leaps and bounds this season after making the number one shirt his own at the expense of Jussi Jaaskelainen.
The 24 year-old Budapest-born stopper made his first Premier League start of the campaign in a 5-1 reverse at home to Chelsea but has grown in both confidence and stature since.
Recent displays of sublime reactions of agility have certainly justified the flame-haired ‘keeper’s inclusion ahead of the experienced Jaaskelainen.
Ivan Klasnic – 8
hris Eagles – 4
evin Davies – 3
Goal average – 1.2 p/game
Even with a few injury problems of our own, Sunderland should have too much for Bolton at the Stadium of Light, it won’t be easy, but a hard-fought 2-1 win.
Fulham (A) & Manchester United (H).