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In opposition: Crystal Palace v Bolton Wanderers

16 January 2013

Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman returns to Crystal Palace for the first time this weekend, and it's likely to be an interesting game at Selhurst Park.

Here, we preview the match with the help of a supporter from each club.


Name: Mark Pratt.

Club: Crystal Palace.

Number of years as a supporter: 15.

Favourite moment as a fan: The Play-Off victory against West Ham United to get into the Premier League.

How many games a season do you attend? I'm a season ticket holder.

Where do you sit? The Arthur Wait.

Name: Peter Roberts.

Club: Bolton Wanderers.

Number of years as a supporter: Over 30 years.

Favourite moment as a fan: There has been a few. When we regained our top-flight status in 1995 after a 15-year absence was good and the UEFA Cup journeys were also memorable.

How many games a season do you attend? All home, and most away.

Where do you sit? Behind the goal.


What happened in your last match?

MP: We suffered a 1-0 away defeat against Burnley, dropping to fourth in the league, on Saturday. Then lost 4-1 to Stoke City after extra-time in the FA Cup on Tuesday.

PR: Last Saturday, we drew with Millwall 1-1. It was probably a fair result but we piled the pressure on towards the end but couldn't find a winner. Then, on Tuesday, we recorded an impressive 2-0 win against Sunderland in the FA Cup.

Why is this game important?

MP: It's the return of club hero Dougie Freedman in the Bolton dugout and the importance of keeping in touch with the top two.

PR: Well, first and foremost, Dougie Freedman is obviously returning to his old club. And Dougie needs to start getting good results - it's been a fairly inconsistent start under his guidance.

How do you see this game going?

MP: It'll be a close game with Freedman's teams being well drilled but I feel we'll just edge it.

PR: It's going to be tight, that's for sure. Although Palace are flying high in fourth and we're down in 16th, both sides need to find some form.

Who should we keep our eye on?

MP: Wingers Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie will provide a serious threat to the Bolton defence with their pace and trickery.

David Ngog has shown some glimpses of pure class this season. Hopefully with a run in the team he can find some consistency in front of goal.PR:

Any memories of previous encounters?

MP: My very first Palace game was at home to Bolton in the Premier League 1997/98 season, the game finished 2-2.

PR: The last three meetings have been close - separated by just a single goal. In the reverse meeting earlier this season I thought we were heading for a very valuable point, but Glenn Murray scored a penalty with 10 minutes to go. I remember the 3-3 thriller at the Reebok Stadium in 2000 very well. We were 3-1 in front with five or so minutes to play, then Dougie scored - his second of the match - and Clinton Morrison equalised for Palace at the death. It was a cracker of a match.

Score prediction?

MP: Crystal Palace 2-1 Bolton Wanderers.

PR: I hope it's a comfortable 2-0 win for us, but I think it will be 1-1.

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