Bolton Wanderers vs Southend United...
Southend United’s final game before Christmas sees them travel to Greater Manchester and The University of Bolton Stadium to take on Bolton Wanderers.
Bolton’s 2019 has been one shrouded in financial problems, with the club relegated from the Championship in acrimonious circumstances before starting this season on -12 points.
As a result, The Trotters are the only club below Blues in the League One table at present and Southend will be keen to keep their distance by picking up a vital win.
Blues’ winless league run was extended last weekend to 12 matches, with Sol Campbell yet to taste victory in the league since taking over the club back in October.
Southend though showed huge signs of improvement against promotion-chasing Rotherham last weekend, securing a 2-2 draw against The Millers having gone into the break 1-0 down.
Bolton’s recent resurgence has faltered in the last few matches. After winning three in a row against Bristol Rovers, Fleetwood and MK Dons, they’ve since lost two and drawn one of their last three.
Tuesday 4th April 2017
Southend United 0-1 Bolton Wanderers
Mark Beevers’ stoppage-time winner for Bolton secured the visitors a huge three points in their push for promotion while denting Southend’s play-off aspirations.
With the match looking likely to end in stalemate, Beevers fired home from close range after a Filipe Morais corner wasn’t dealt with by Blues to increase their stranglehold on automatic promotion.
Blues Team News
Striker Tom Hopper, who missed last weekend’s draw with Rotherham, is facing a race against the clock to be fit for the trip to Bolton with a foot injury picked up a fortnight ago.
Stephen McLaughlin, Brandon Goodship and Sam Mantom were all withdrawn with injuries last weekend but all three look set for a quick return having shaken off their knocks.
Nathan Ralph, however, looks set for an extended period on the sidelines after it was revealed he requires surgery on his dislocated shoulder, meaning the full-back could be out for up to six months.
Bolton Danger Man
The experienced Daryl Murphy is likely to be the one to look out for on Saturday as he looks to put recent headlines behind him by doing what he’s done most of his career, and that’s scoring goals.
Murphy was on a run of three successive games on the scoresheet before Bolton were shut out last weekend against Peterborough, with his season tally so far reading played 11, scored five.
The Republic of Ireland international has over 100 careers goals to his name and at 6ft3in, his size makes him a menace for opposition defences despite heading towards the twilight of his career.
Ben Toner will be in charge tomorrow afternoon in Greater Manchester, being assisted by Abbas Khan and Matthew Bristow, with Garreth Rhodes standing in as the fourth official.
Toner has officiated 17 games so far this season, issuing 57 yellows and four reds, and most recently took charge of Lincoln’s 2-0 win at Burton Albion.
Last season, Toner refereed Blues twice on the road in defeats to Scunthorpe and Rochdale. Here’s hoping it’s a case of third time lucky for Southend and Toner tomorrow afternoon.
Away Fans Guide
The University of Bolton Stadium, under its various guises, has been the home of Bolton Wanderers since 1997 after the club moved from its former home, Burden Park.
With a capacity of just under 29,000, the stadium is one of the largest in League One with away fans situated in the South Stand with allocations of up to 5,000 available.
For more information on the ground, including info on travel directions, where to park and where to go for a pre-match drink, check out awaygames.co.uk’s guide by clicking here.
Tickets will be available to purchase on the day from the turnstiles at The University of Bolton Stadium in Block E, these will be CASH ONLY with no price increases.
Full ticket info click here.