Bolton Wanderers v Aston Villa
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, December 9th; 15:00
Bolton Wanderers' Gary Cahill is free to play against his former club after seeing his straight red card against Tottenham Hotspur rescinded.
Aston Villa keeper Brad Guzan will make his first league start of the season in place of the injured Shay Given, who tweaked his hamstring in defeat to Manchester United.
Midfielder Jermaine Jenas will miss the rest of the season after picking up an Achilies injury.
Coyle targets festive surge
Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle is eyeing a return to form during the festive period after a disastrous start to the season.
The Trotters have lost 11 of their 14 league games this season and Coyle is hoping during the season of good will, their opponents will be generous over the festive period.
Coyle's men face a run of five winnable fixtures starting against Aston Villa on Saturday, following by trips to Fulham and Blackburn Rovers, along with the hosting of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United.
The former Burnley boss said: "I’ve got a fantastic relationship with Phil (Gartside) and Eddie (Davies), and word for word, bit by bit, they know the plan we’ve put in place to build Bolton Wanderers year after year.
“There came a point when that plan had to be implemented. We had to put building blocks in place for this club to get better.
“For all that, you’ll always be judged on the Premier League because that’s where you have to be. I totally accept that.
“If that means I have to sacrifice a little bit of myself, then so be it. But the chairman and the owner know the job I am doing.
“If you can bring it all together, then fantastic, but if you get testing times then the only way you can get your way through that is by working hard, getting out there having pride in your jersey, and that’s what we’ll do.”
Coyle isn't the only manager under pressure, following the first sacking of the season last week, and Villa boss Alex McLeish is blaming knee-jerk reactions to the pressure mounting his his position at Villa Park.
The Villans have failed to net in their last three games, and are looking to improve on a lacklustre display against Manchester United last weekend.
“The social networks and phone-ins have evolved and have made it a blame culture, a knee-jerk culture,” McLeish said.
“But you’ve just got to deal and live with it. That’s just the way it is. You keep your powder dry until you have a moment like Andre Villas-Boas the other night.
“Because of what people tell you, you are aware of what’s out there but why listen or read that? It would not help any individual at all.”