Last Updated: 28/04/12 4:55pm
Well, it was a thoroughly enjoyable match to watch from a neutral's perspective, and the points are shared in the end. Bolton led, then fell behind before the returning Kevin Davies brought the game level once more. No side could find a winner, though, and you have to wonder is that a point gained or two dropped for Bolton.
Bridge almost gifts Sunderland a winner after initially showing good skill, after trying to do too much, his back-pass sells Gordon short but Klasnic can't capitalise.
McClean and Bridge link up well before the former loses his footing, with Bolton picking up the loose ball.
Klasnic finds the space to shoot on the turn inside the penalty area from K Davies' knock-down, but Gordon denies him with a crucial save with his legs.
Sessegnon tries his all to keep the ball in play but K Davies shields it well to earn a goal-kick for his side.
Bridge's first contribution is to deliver a dangerous ball into the box but Bolton deal with the threat.
Wayne Bridge comes on for Kilgallon for Sunderland. O'Shea will move to centre-half presumably, with Barsdley swapping flanks.
Just over ten minutes plus stoppage time to go, it's been a great game at the Stadium of Light no matter what happens from here.
Klasnic concedes possession in a dangerous position and Cattermole feeds in Bendtner, who's first touch is poor and his shot lacks conviction.
Boyata shoes neat footwork and finds K Davies, who chips a through ball through for Miyaichi, who is dispossessed by Bardsley.
Elmohamady is brought to the deck by Ricketts but McClean's delivery evades everyone and sails out of play.
McClean's poor return pass to Bardsley hands Bolton possession and Ricketts pulls a fantastic cross out of the bag, with Kevin Davies nodding in with ease at the back post.
It's just cramp for Campbell, who is sharply back to his feet after a quick discussion with the physio.
Sunderland are starting to impose themselves even more now, but it's Bolton who need to up their game.
McClean tees up Campbell, who controsl and shifts onto his right foot before bending a decent effort over the crossbar from just outside the penalty area.
Eagles is replaced by Miyaichi while Klasnic replaces Ngog in a double substitution for the visitors.
Petrov bends in a Bolton corner and Wheater rises highest but directs it well over the bar in a wasted opportunity for the Trotters.
Gordon watches a high ball all the way and catches impressively, he'll have done his chances of a new contract no harm today.
Well, K Davies will be kicking himself for conceding that needless foul. Take nothing away from McClean, though, it's a great strike for his 6th league goal of the season.
McClean punishes Bolton with a ferocious free-kick, which beats the wall and is too strong for Bogdan to keep out. The Bolton keeper gets a hand to it, but can only push it onto the inside of the bar and into the back of the net.
K Davies trips up Sessegnon, that's not his first foul of the day by any means, and the fact that he tries to pull out perhaps saves him from a yellow card.
Lynn David says: "I really want Sunderland to get back to winning ways. Colback has been fantastic this season, a real ambassador for North East football. Sunderland to win 2-1 and Sess to score the second."
Eagles strikes at goal from a difficult angle and almost wrong-foots Gordon with the surprise element, but the Scot recovers to make the stop.
Bardsley has a problem here, that delivery caught him squire in the face it seems, with blood now streaming from his nose.
Back to the football, it's been a fascinating game so far. Bolton were the better side for much of the half but that defence-splitting pass from Colback signalled a change of momentum after Bendtner finished it neatly. It'll be interesting to see who takes the initiative early in the second-half, but there's no doubt who needs it more.
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Sunderland fan @thomascurtis89 says: "Nice to see Sunderland finishing the stronger at the break, Gordon seems solid, McClean and Sessegnon to score in a 3-1 win."
Ngog hits the bar but without conviction as Petrov's cross to the back post is volleyed across the face of goal for the former Liverpool man, who scuff his effort into the ground before it's tipped onto the bar by Gordon.
Gordon releases a quick throw and ignites a counter-attack, but it breaks down as McClean concedes possession.
Bardsley's free-kick delivery is headed clear by K Davies. Sunderland knock it back in but Bolton ultimately earn a goal-kick.
Sunderland are piling on the pressure now, they've come to life as Bogdan denies O'Shea from close range.
The hosts are level out of nothing, and it's all about the pass of Colback, who threads a delightful pass through to Bendtner, who duly tucks it past Bogdan.
Fantastic footwork from Campbell creates space for Sessegnon, whose touch lets him down and the chance goes begging.
Petrov delivers another inviting cross but Gordon reads it well this time and collects unchallenged.
Sunderland go close to an equaliser as a set-piece delivery from McClean is glanced narrowly wide by O'Shea.
Sessegnon releases Bendtner but Ricketts recovers to beat him to the through ball, booting into touch.
Sessegnon is hobbling after being caught by Ricketts. It was accidental, but that's no comfort to the Sunderland man.
Eagles almost gifts the hosts an immediate equaliser but Bendtner is caught by surprise and Bogdan beats him to the loose ball.
The visitors have the lead and it's Kevin Davies, who volleys in at the back post following a deep cross from Petrov, and they're worthy of their lead.
Petrov whips in an inviting cross but Ngog can't rise high enough to get a good connection on the delivery.
Ngog wants a free-kick for handball but is actually penalised for initially controlling with his hand in the first place.
Sunderland are improving though as Bendtner drops deep to see more of the ball, and he's holding it up well.
K Davies and Ngog combine to clear the danger at the back for Bolton. Consequently, their counter breaks down with no options in the final third.
Campbell nicks the ball off Ricketts and the Bolton full-back trips up the striker. Free-kick to Sunderland, and Rickets is fortunate not to be booked.
The away support can clearly be heard chanting Fabrice Muamba's name, followed by a round of applause from the home support. Nice tough that.
Further to that incident, it should be noted that most of Sunderland's defence had stopped due to the raised flag.
Ngog has the ball in the net but the flag is incorrectly raised against M Davies, who pulled the ball back across the face of goal for the striker.
K Davies takes the ball and the player, McClean crumples to the ground but no booking for the Bolton man.
Bendtner shoots from range and tries to spare his blushes with a half-hearted claim for a corner. As it is, Bolton have a goal-kick.
It's all Bolton - Petrov allows the ball to roll across his body before drilling at goal, but he give the Sunderland defenders enough time to close it down.
M Davies collects in the centre and drives towards goal before firing a tame effort on target, which Gordon comfortably collects.
Reo-Coker shrugs off Cattermole and unleashes a fierce drive at goal. Gordon was confident it's always sailing wide, though.
Sunderland earn a free-kick on the half-way line and are in no hurry to get on with it as they look to gain some composure.
Eagles draws a foul just outside the penalty area and takes the free-kick himself, flashing a dangerous shot across the face of goal which Kilgallon does well to avoid. Goal-kick to the Black Cats.
Gordon is next to put the ball into touch as Bolton's pressure continues, it's a bright start from the visitors.
John O'Shea is forced to nod out of play from Reo-Coker's through ball as Bolton apply some pressure.
Sunderland fan @mark_chimp says: "The fact O'Neill is playing Gordon suggests he may be using today as an experiment. Expect Ji and Meyler to feature."
Back to the betting, and Kevin Davies' involvement from the start is a welcome boost for Bolton. Martin O'Neill tried to sign the striker in January, according to Owen Coyle in today's papers, and the Northern Irishman will hope the one-time England international will not offer him a reminder why. He's 8/1 to open the scoring with Sky Bet.
Incidentally, it's Craig Gordon's first start in 14 months for Sunderland. The Trotters will be hoping to test his nerves as Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill, I suspect, wants to see what the goalkeeper is made of ahead of the summer.
Why not take a glance at SkyBet's odds ahead of kick-off? James McClean is a tempting 9/1 to score first, but I've been impressed with David Ngog of late, and his odds of 8/1 for the same feat gets my vote.
Bolton fan @samcagz says: "I think we need to win today, because of the hard teams the other relegation teams are facing."
@TrickyTim says: "Another "cup final" for the whites, let's hope they don't start the game slow. An unusual midfield from OC so let's hope it works!"
So, no Richardson or Larsson for the hosts, with both players ruled out for the remainder of the season, but the Black Cats will take comfort from the fact that they've won the last five meetings between these two sides.
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Right, now the team news is confirmed, let the predictions commence. Bolton fans, can your side get a vital three points here today, or would you settle for just one? And to the Sunderland followers, have you players taken their foot off the gas? Is this an important game or are the Black Cats merely seeing out the season?
Sunderland: Gordon, O'Shea, Turner, Kilgallon, Bardsley, Campbell, Cattermole, Colback, McClean, Bendtner, Sessegnon. Subs: Westwood, Bridge, Vaughan, Ji, Meyler, Kyrgiakos, Elmohamady.
Bolton: Bogdan, Boyata, Ream, Wheater, Ricketts, Reo-Coker, Mark Davies, Petrov, Eagles, Ngog, Kevin Davies. Subs: Jaaskelainen, Alonso, Knight, Klasnic, Sordell, Miyaichi, Vela.