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Bolton Wanderers really have not had a good time of games with Burnley. Of the last four meetings between the Trotters and the Clarets, Bolton have won just once while losing two and drawing one. The most recent meeting between the two sides was opening day and the Whites left Turf Moor as 2-0 losers. It was a meeting that, unbeknownst to most fans at the time, would set the tone for the season.
On that day, Martin Paterson opened the scoring on just 11 minutes before Charlie Austin scored his first goal of many this season. The Trotters were listless, lacked chemistry, and were largely off target on the day.
The team that Owen Coyle put out on the day wasn't that different from the one fans are likely to see tomorrow. Adam Bogdan started in goal with Tyrone Mears, Tim Ream, Zat Knight, and Sam Ricketts in front of him. Keith Andrews was the deepest-lying midfielder while Martin Petrov and Chung-Yong Lee took up their respective wings. Mark Davies was playing just behind Kevin Davies and Marvin Sordell.
Realistically, Marcos Alonso should feature on his favored left side while the central defensive pairing is a toss-up. Mark Davies is on his way back from injury but not quite there yet and Keith Andrews is set to miss a bit of time with a torn muscle. Josh Vela has been largely great for Bolton over the last two games and, after making his first ever league start last weekend and playing well, could be in line to start again. Tyrone Mears and Chris Eagles should start against their old team. Stu Holden completed 90 minutes in a closed-door training match and could be on the bench for Bolton Wanderers. Finally, Medo Kamara and Craig Dawson could finally be handed their debuts as well.
The challenge for Bolton will be in stopping Charlie Austin. The tall striker has 21 goals in 25 appearances this season and has been a pest for just about every team he's faced. Austin spent a month sidelined with injury but returned last weekend against Peterborough United, a 2-2 draw. Austin took just one shot that game and scored with it to go second in the Championship goalscoring charts, just behind Crystal Palace's Glenn Murray.
"We have done videos upon videos on him.
"We know, and the players have seen in the sessions, his movements and where he has scored goals from.
"If you do study him, every week he does score the same type of goal.
"If we understand where that is, we can try to stop him.
"However, he's a player who you have got to give a pat on the back to, because he has come up the leagues and one day, hopefully for the guy, he'll play in the Premier League."
Bolton Wanderers are languishing dangerously in the dark depths of the Championship Table, in 20th place on 34 points but with a game in hand on most of their competition. A win against Burnley could see Bolton rise as high as 16th place, given that other results go their way.