Norwich City v Bolton Wanderers Preview

Norwich City v Bolton Wanderers Preview

My first thoughts that spring to mind regarding Bolton Wanderers are firstly Max and Paddy, the TV characters portrayed by Peter Kay and Paddy McGuinness who hail from the area and regularly made BWFC references, the main sketch remembered is when a minibus load of dwarf Bolton fans raided the club beating Paddy on the way through the enterence.

My second thought is regarding the traditional ground, Burden Park where Bolton played before moving to the modern Motorway Bowl and specifically the terrace behind one goal which became a supermarket... when needs must! A fantastic 2nd round League Cup game of football took place at the old ground in Sept 1974 - following a 0-0 home draw, the reply finished 3-1 to City with goals from Norwich stars Stringer, McDougall and Boyer. City went on to lose in the final at Wembley to the Villa.

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Our very first competitive meeting was a FA Cup game in 1923 which resulted in a 2-0 Bolton victory. Whilst I keep up the cup talk, on October 1998, at Carrow Road, in the League Cup third round of the cup, 0-0 and 90 minutes turned into 1-1 after 120 minutes following goals from Keith O'Neil and Robbie Blake, The Totters won on penalties 3-1, our last cup coming together.

My third thought took me back to the purple patch enjoyed by Bolton when they were a real force in the Premier League (2001-12) and making the UEFA cup in 2005. Sam Allardyce was a great centre half and manager for the Trotters, a big shame that he departed to an insignificant club in Newcastle United. I feel the new manager, Phil Parkinson will bring good times back to Bolton. Under enforced financial restrictions, recent results suggest the team will comfortably pull away from the relegation zone and set up a more positive season for 2018/19.

On the league front, City owe Bolton revenge for a awful performance and 2-1 defeat in November. Madine (who has left the club) and Armstrong scoring with a Josh Murphy consolation in the 90th minute. Prior to that game, City had enjoyed three wins on the trot with two of those in the Premier League. Overall, honours are pretty even with 20 wins for City, 11 draws and 18 defeats. I expect Saturday's game to be keenly contested with, as usual, one goal in it.

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