Sunderland 2 - 2 BoltonKO: Sat Apr 28 15:00:00 BST 2012 Ground: Stadium of Light
Att: 40768 Referee: L Probert
Sunderland v Bolton
Bolton take on mid-table Sunderland looking to build on their midweek win over Aston Villa and climb out of the drop zone.
The 2-1 victory at Villa Park has seen Owen Coyle's side rise to 18th in the table, just a point from safety, having played a game less than their relegation rivals.
Sunderland also played at Villa Park last time and were held to a goalless stalemate - their fourth successive game without a goal.
The point meant ex-Villa manager Martin O'Neill and his Sunderland team have now failed to win any of their last six league and cup games, which is the worst run since the sacking of Steve Bruce.
But history is on the Black Cats' side - they have won five successive Premier League meetings with Bolton.
Sunderland have confirmed that Sebastian Larsson and Kieran Richardson will miss the club's last three games of the season having both undergone hernia surgery.
Midfielder Craig Gardner is suspended after his dismissal against Villa last time.
Skipper Lee Cattermole could return to the Black Cats' midfield in his place as he battles a persistent knee problem, but the manager will make a late decision on his fitness.
Defender Titus Bramble is back in full training and is expected to return to first-team availability, although Saturday's game could come too soon.
For Bolton, boss Coyle will again run the rule over his walking wounded ahead of the trip to the Stadium of Light.
Coyle claimed another six players picked up knocks in Tuesday's win at Villa, including midfielders Chris Eagles, Ryo Miyaichi and Mark Davies, with none training on Thursday.
Darren Pratley has missed the last two matches through illness, whilst Bolton are still awaiting FIFA clearance to play winger Gregg Wylde following his move from Rangers.
Possible starting XIs:
Sunderland: Mignolet, O'Shea, Kilgallon, Bardsley, Turner, McClean, Cattermole, Sessegnon, Colback, Campbell, Bendtner.
Bolton: Bogdan, Steinsson, Ream, Wheater, Ricketts, Miyaichi, Reo-Coker, Davies, Petrov, Eagles, N'Gog.
Sunderland 2 - 2 Bolton Wanderers
Club captain Davies volleyed the Trotters into the lead on 26 minutes, a just reward for a bright start from the visitors.
Sunderland went in at the break level, though, as Jack Colback's defence-splitting pass was neatly finished off by Nicklas Bendtner on 36 minutes.
Neither side really stamped their authority on the game after the restart, but the hosts took the lead 10 minutes in thanks to a sublime free-kick from James McClean.
Owen Coyle's men were not to be denied a result, however, with Davies finding an equaliser with a trademark header from Sam Ricketts' cross.
Sunderland at least ended their barren run - they had not scored in four games - but they will have been disappointed not to be able to hang on to claim a first league win in six attempts in front of a crowd of 40,768.
Despite manager Martin O'Neill's insistence to the contrary, the Black Cats have given the impression of a team with one eye on the summer in recent weeks, and for the opening half-hour or so they did little to dispel the notion.
They were simply not at the races, with the visitors providing all of the early impetus to create a series of promising openings.
Chris Eagles drilled a fourth-minute free-kick wide and David Ngog saw his seventh-minute shot blocked by Matt Kilgallon before Nigel Reo-Coker carved a path through the red and white shirts to blast a long-range effort just wide.
Keeper Craig Gordon, playing his first game of the season following a lengthy lay-off with a knee injury, was called upon for the first time when he got down to claim Mark Davies' 10th-minute drive.
The traffic was largely one-way and Michael Turner had to throw himself into the path of Martin Petrov's goal-bound 11th-minute shot.
Petrov turned provider with 25 minutes gone when he crossed from the left for Ngog to head high over the bar, but the Bulgarian repeated the dose seconds later and Kevin Davies was not so wasteful.
The midfielder's cross found the striker unmarked at the far post and he volleyed expertly across Gordon and into the bottom corner to give Wanderers a deserved lead.
Sunderland belatedly found their feet as they sought a way back into the game and, after Stephane Sessegnon had seen penalty appeals waved away, Kilgallon glanced a McClean free-kick just the wrong side of the post with keeper Adam Bogdan beaten.
Full-back Phil Bardsley's hopes of being awarded a penalty when his shot struck Tim Ream's foot and then his arm were never going to be answered in the affirmative, but O'Shea was denied by Bogdan after making an unlikely 38th-minute burst into the box.
However, Gordon had to react well to tip Ngog's mis-hit volley over the bar in the final minute of the half with Bolton intent on collecting all the points on offer.
The Scotland international was in action once again within four minutes of the restart when Eagles' swerving shot almost deceived him after the midfielder was allowed time and space to take aim.
Bolton were dominating once again, but contrived to surrender the advantage when Kevin Davies slid in late on Sessegnon to concede a 55th-minute free-kick 25 yards out.
McClean's firmly struck shot curled over the defensive wall and despite the best efforts of Bogdan, who managed to get a hand to it, found the net via the underside of the crossbar.
Wanderers manager Coyle made a double change with 64 minutes gone when he replaced Eagles and Ngog with Ryo Miyaichi and Ivan Klasnic, but his side almost fell further behind within two minutes when Fraizer Campbell curled a right-foot shot just over.
However, Bolton were back on level terms 20 minutes from time when full-back Ricketts crossed for the unmarked Kevin Davies to head firmly past Gordon from five yards.
They might have snatched victory at the death when Kevin Davies headed down yet another Petrov cross to Klasnic, but Gordon managed to block his shot on the turn with his foot to spare his side further misery.
Man of the match: Kevin Davies was guilty of his fair share of fouls, but it's his goals he's judged on and he popped up with two clinical finishes.
Goal of the match: The execution and technique of Kevin Davies' first goal gives it a narrow edge over Nicklas Bendtner's for the goal of the game.
Pass of the match: Jack Colback's assist for Bendtner's goal came from out of nowhere, sparking an onslaught on Bolton's goal from the hosts.
Save of the match: In the aftermath of Sunderland's first goal, Adam Bogan bravely denied John O'Shea from close range as Bolton survived a barrage of attacks.
Talking points: Is this two points dropped or one point gained for Bolton? Are Sunderland guilty of taking their eye of the ball after securing their safety?
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