News Update :

Premier League preview: Sunderland vs Bolton

27 Apr 2012

koclokindoblog, 27 April 2012, Bolton manager Owen Coyle will hope his porous defence can manage a clean sheet against a misfiring Sunderland side on Saturday.

Sunderland have failed to score in their past four games but come up against the third-worst defence in the Premier League this weekend.

Coyle will be pushing his defenders to continue Sunderland's goalless run as Bolton make a late-season dash to avoid relegation.

Bolton stunned Aston Villa 2-1 on Tuesday to drag Alex McLeish's men closer to the relegation zone and take themselves to within a point of Wigan and Queens Park Rangers.

Tuesday's game was decided in a frantic three-minute period when first Stephen Warnock scored for Aston Villa before a penalty from Martin Petrov and a goal from David Ngog ensured the visitors went home with three points.

Coyle's side have a game in hand on May 2 against Tottenham but are more likely to earn points against Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion and Stoke in their run home.

Bolton have won four and drawn one of their past seven Premier League games and have a decent spread of players who can hit the back of the net.

The likes of Chris Eagles, Ivan Klasnic, Kevin Davies and Petrov are the most dangerous in front of goal.

It is an area that Sunderland have found tough recently with their last goal coming in the 3-3 draw against Newcastle on March 31.

Martin O'Neill's side scoring troubles take on extra significance with their past two games having been against Wolverhampton and Aston Villa, two sides who have leaked goals for most of the season.

If Bolton's central defenders David Wheater and Zat Knight can keep Nicklas Bendtner and Stephane Sessegnon quiet at the Stadium of Light, they will go a long way to claiming their first clean sheet since February and just their third for the season.

Despite having failed to score, Sunderland have managed three draws in the past month, which is impressive considering that key defenders Titus Bramble and Wes Brown, as well as defensive midfielder Lee Cattermole are all currently on the injured list.

None of those players will be back on Saturday, while the visitors may have Darren Prately available for selection.

Sunderland are 11th on the table with 44 points and do not have much left to play for this season.

In contrast, Bolton are 18th, a point and a position on the table away from safety and desperate for a result on Saturday.

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