Preview: Bolton Wanderers vs. Cardiff City

Sports Mole previews an FA Cup fourth-round clash between two sides struggling for league form as Bolton Wanderers entertain Cardiff City at the Reebok Stadium.

Two sides in desperate need of a confidence-boosting win meet in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday as Bolton Wanderers entertain Cardiff City.

Things have not quite gone according to plan for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thus far, with the Bluebirds falling to the bottom of the table following defeats in his opening two Premier League games as manager.

They visit the Reebok Stadium hoping to find form against a Bolton side who were thrashed 7-1 by Reading in Championship action last weekend and are also looking for respite from their league struggles.

Solskjaer won this competition twice during his time at Manchester United, whom Cardiff face on Tuesday, and is likely to name a strong side as he targets a victory that will give his team momentum heading to Old Trafford. New signing Magnus Wolff Eikrem could make a full debut in midfield.

Andrew Taylor is his only senior absentee, and therefore Kevin McNaughton, who spent a spell on loan at Bolton earlier this term, should continue to deputise at left-back. Craig Bellamy has featured off the bench in their last two games and may make a first start since November 9 on the wing.

Dougie Freedman would possibly want to ring the changes following Bolton's recent drubbing, but his injury-depleted Trotters squad is short of alternatives, so the same back four will probably be retained.

French striker David N'gog is in talks with Cardiff's Welsh rivals Swansea City over a potential transfer and thus may sit out, and with Jermaine Beckford unlikely to be fit, Freedman will choose between Sanmi Odelusi and Craig Davies to perform the lone striker role.

Stuart Holden is nearing a return from another long injury layoff but this game comes too soon for the American international. Chris Eagles may be restored out wide, with Darren Pratley benched.

Recent form

Bolton: LDWDLW

Cardiff: LLWLDL

Possible starting lineups

Bolton: Lonergan; Baptiste, Knight, Mills, Ream; Spearing, Davies, Danns; Eagles, Chung-Yong, Davies

Cardiff: Marshall; Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Turner, McNaughton; Medel, Eikrem; Bellamy, Mutch, Noone; Campbell

Sports Mole says: 1-2

Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman smiles ahead of a match on January 26, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Wolverhampton WanderersWolves28195450222862
2Derby CountyDerby28158544232153
3Cardiff CityCardiff28156740251551
4Aston Villa28148642251750
5Bristol City2813964032848
6Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd281441042321046
7Fulham28129746341245
8Middlesbrough281351038271144
9Brentford28111074235743
10Leeds UnitedLeeds28134114033743
11Preston North EndPreston28101263228442
12Ipswich TownIpswich28124124140140
13Norwich CityNorwich28107112833-537
14Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest28112153543-835
15Millwall28810103333034
16Queens Park RangersQPR2889113140-933
17Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds28711103034-432
18Reading2878133036-629
19Barnsley2869132840-1227
20Bolton WanderersBolton2868142646-2026
21Hull City28510133945-625
22Sunderland28510133047-1725
23Birmingham CityBirmingham2866161639-2324
24Burton Albion2866162152-3124
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