The two clubs have struggled this Championship season, winning just one game each and taking up two of three relegation places.
Their early season season struggles have seen the Cottagers sack Felix Magath, whilst Bolton fans have been calling for the removal of Dougie Freedman. Neither team have impressed this season, and goals have been hard to come by - Fulham scoring just eight in nine games, and the Trotters one fewer in as many games.
However, there have been a couple of shining lights amongst the weak performances, with Fulham’s summer arrival Tim Hoogland leading the Cottagers scoring charts, whilst former Liverpool man Jay Spearing has shown his quality in all nine of Bolton’s fixtures this season.
The two midfielders face off on Wednesday night, and we take a look at who could have the biggest impact - and secure a second win of the season for their team.
|Team||Mins Played||Goals||Assists||Key Passes||Tackles||Passes||Passing Accuracy||Touches||Appearances|
As can be seen, both midfielders have started all nine games for their teams, although Hoogland has fewer minutes of action under his belt. And it is the German who has had a large match winning impact upon the Cottagers poor start to the season, scoring three goals to Spearing’s zero. However, Spearing has registered more assists than Hoogland, and has attempted more than double the amount of key passes than his soon-to-be opponent.
Bolton forward Joe Mason has netted four times this season - with three coming in one game - whilst no other forward has scored for the Trotters. With the poor striking ability on show at the Macron Stadium, it is no surprise to see Spearing’s assist tally so low, with no one ahead of him to take advantage of his consistent creative play.
Both midfielders control the game with equal adeptness, touching the ball similar amounts per game and registering roughly equal pass accuracy rates.
Both also offer good defensive control, winning number of tackles, although it a surprising to see Hoogland - who can also play in defence - beaten by out-and-out midfielder Spearing.
The duo have been the two best performers of their respective sides for the duration of the Championship season so far, and a lot of the pressure will be on their heads to claim a second victory on Wednesday night. If Spearing can add goals to his game he will surely outperform Hoogland, but with the current profligacy of his Trotters teammates, Fulham’s German star will likely have the larger impact at Craven Cottage.