89 days since leaving Selhurst Park for Bolton Wanderers, Dougie Freedman returns to south London hoping to try and resurrect his side's league campaign which currently sees them languishing in 16th position in the Championship table, having only picked up victories in three of their last 13 league games.
Freedman has won just five of his 16 games in charge of the Trotters since taking over in October but only losing four times, the same record as Ian Holloway's tenure at Palace. Having drawn with Millwall at home last weekend, Wanderers saw off Sunderland 2-0 in their FA Cup replay in midweek to book a spot in the fourth round within the original 90 minutes.
That win at the Stadium of Light was only their second on the road under Freedman, with their last league success on their travels coming against Blackburn in November.
Crystal Palace: New signing Jacob Butterfield is available to play but Danny Gabbidon is unlikely to feature after picking up a hamstring injury against Stoke, joining Joel Ward (groin), Owen Garvan (knee) and Paddy McCarthy (groin) on the sidelines. Kagisho Dikgacoi is at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Bolton Wanderers: Craig Davies is in line to make his debut having signed from Barnsley for £300,000 last week and Stuart Holden made his first appearance since September 2011 against Sunderland in midweek having recovered from a serious knee injury. Martin Petrov has left the Reebok Stadium for Espanyol, whilst Keith Andrews and Sam Ricketts are struggling with Achilles and groin problems, but David Wheater, Matt Mills and Mark Davies are all absent.
Referee: Robert Madley
Assistants: Richard Kendall and Timothy Wood
Fourth Official Michael Bull
HEAD TO HEAD RECORD: (home and away)
|Palace wins||Draws||Bolton wins|
PREVIOUS ENCOUNTERS AT SELHURST:
The first league encounters between Palace and Bolton took place in the 1964/65 season in Division Two, following the Eagles' promotion the previous summer. Saturday’s game will be the 18th season that the sides have met since then, three of which were in the top tier.
Bolton’s first visit to Selhurst Park came in April 1965 when goals from Keith Smith and Alan Stephenson earned Palace a 2-0 victory, and they would only lose once of the first 10 meetings in SE25 against the Trotters.
However the Eagles' last home victory over Bolton was almost 30 years ago in February 1983 which also resulting in their biggest victory over tomorrow;s opponents as they recorded a 3-0 win thanks to Shaun Brooks and a brace from Ian Edwards. Since then Bolton have journeyed to Selhurst seven times claiming two victories and three draws.
Bolton’s last visit here was for a Premier League game on February 5th 2005 with Dougie Freedman lining up for the Eagles alongside Andy Johnson who was celebrating his first call-up to the England squad, however an outstanding goalkeeping display by Jussi Jaaskelainen coupled with a scruffy Kevin Nolan finish, which saw Emmerson Boyce seemingly clear the ball off the line only for a linesman to rule a goal, saw the away side leave with a 1-0 win.
Category B prices apply for this game, and they can still be purchased online or at the ground right up until kick-off.
Tickets can be ordered online here or on 08712000071.
Beer Festival Launch
To celebrate the launch of the third annual Palace beer festival at Selhurst Park on May 25th 2013, supporters are invited to join Palace co-chairman, Stephen Browett, Palace manager, Ian Holloway and celebrity fan, Neil Morrissey for a pre-match real ale on Saturday before Saturday's Bolton game.
The club are hoping to have a couple of extra guests joining Stephen, Ian and Neil and you can be part of the launch photo which will be taken around 12.30pm in the Glaziers Bar which will be open from midday to all ticket holders. Non-Glaziers ticket holders are asked to leave the bar at 2.30pm to take their seats elsewhere in the stadium.
Tomorrow's award-winning programme cover star is Jonny Williams who chats about his last 18 months in the first-team as he aims to put an injury-ravished 2012 behind him. We also chat to Alex Nimely about his move to Selhurst, and there are plenty of features on the return of Dougie Freedman plus all the usual columns, opposition details and stats for the bargain price of £3.
Palace to win: 6/5
Bolton to win: 12/5
Palace to win 1-0: 15/2
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