Reebok Stadium

Preview: Bolton v Sunderland

by Kate Smith looks ahead to Sunderland's FA Cup clash.

Sunderland and Bolton do battle in the FA Cup with Budweiser with the Black Cats looking to continue the Indian sign they seem to hold over the Trotters.

The Black Cats haven't lost any of their last eight meetings with Bolton and had won five straight before a 2-2 draw on Wearside last season.

Kevin Davies scored twice to break Sunderland's stranglehold before Wanderers dropped to the Npower Championship at the end of the season.

Tasked with coming straight back up, boss Owen Coyle eventually parted ways with the club he'd joined from near neighbours Burnley.

Crystal Palace boss Dougie Freedman was his replacement, but Wanderers have struggled to make headway in a competitive division and currently sit 16th.

They have collected 32 points from 26 league games so far and lost 1-0 at Leeds last weekend thanks to Luciano Becchio's goal.

Overall, Freedman's side have won two, drawn one and lost three of their last six games, including a thrilling 5-4 defeat at Peterborough just before Christmas.

Bolton have won the FA Cup four times, most recently in 1958, and reached the sixth round last season before being eliminated by Spurs.

Now they will be looking for a first victory over Sunderland since November 2008 at a Reebok Stadium set to be play host to almost 5,000 visiting fans.

Saturday's game will be the fourth FA Cup tie between the two sides since the 2002-03 season, when Sunderland prevailed in a replay.

Kevin Phillips scored for the Black Cats in a 1-1 draw at the Reebok Stadium, while the second game went to extra time before Julio Arca and Michael Proctor struck to secure a 2-0 win.

Sunderland also came out on top in 2008-09, winning 2-1 at the Stadium of Light thanks to goals from Kenwyne Jones and Djibril Cisse.

The visitors have won on each of their last three visits to the Reebok Stadium, including last season when late goals from Stephane Sessegnon and Nicklas Bendtner secured a 2-0 victory.

The sides have been familiar opponents over the years, meeting a total of 142 times since their first clash in October 1890 (a 5-2 Sunderland win).

Indeed, the Black Cats have the edge in terms of all-time victories with 62 to Bolton's 47. A further 33 games have ended all square.

- Bolton have won just one of their six previous FA Cup ties against Sunderland, with that win coming at this stage of the 1980 competition.

- Interestingly, five of the previous six FA Cup ties between the Trotters and the Black Cats have come in Round 3, with Sunderland winning the last 2-1 in 2009.

_ This will be Bolton’s first FA Cup game against a team from a higher division since the 2000 Final against Aston Villa, where they lost on penalties after a 0-0 draw.

- The Black Cats are unbeaten in three FA Cup away games after a run of five consecutive defeats on the road between 2005 and 2010.