x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Bolton Wanderers aim to end derby wait

Though it may not garner as much attention as some of the Premier League's other local derbies, Bolton Wanderers v Blackburn Rovers is a match to get the blood flowing among the residents of Lancashire.

Though it may not garner as much attention as some of the Premier League's other local derbies, Bolton Wanderers v Blackburn Rovers is a match to get the blood flowing among the residents of Lancashire.

And that Bolton have failed to beat their rivals at home in the top flight in 12 years is something of a sore point for Owen Coyle's side.

There is added spice today in that former Bolton manager Sam Allardyce, who led the club into Europe for the first time, is returning to the Reebok Stadium in charge of Blackburn.

"It is a massive game and about time we got a result against them. It will be very physical. There will be a lot of long balls, put it that way," said Fabrice Muamba, the Bolton midfielder, in reference to Allardyce's no-nonsense tactics.

"We will just have to play the way we have done this season, by getting the ball down and passing it. We must not give away silly free-kicks because they are good at set-pieces."

Bolton went down 1-0 to Manchester City in their last outing. Said Coyle: "The margins between 10 to 12 teams in the league is a coat of paint. You have to make sure you're on the right side of these margins."

Allardyce will enjoy his return to the Reebok Stadium. "The great memories I hold for Bolton are never going to leave me for the rest of my life," he said

"I was always appreciated as a player, and massively appreciated by the fans when I was the manager because I took them to the land they had never been before and I don't think they will ever forget that. Certainly I won't."

A win would send Blackburn above their local rivals. Said Allardyce: "There was nothing better for Blackburn fans last year than doing the double over both Bolton and Burnley.

"I've watched [Bolton] a couple of times and the key is snuffing out the danger, and that's the front two."

5.30pm, Abu Dhabi Sports 4