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Teenage striker Wickham lined up for Sunderland debut

Connor Wickham, Sunderland's 18-year-old striker could make his first start for the club on Saturday according to boss Steve Bruce. Bruce has concerns over Stephane Sessegnon, who led the line in the 2-1 defeat against Arsenal last Sunday but is also yet to score.

Bruce told the Sunderland Echo: "Sessegnon created three massive chances against Arsenal, but I just wonder whether he can get us the goals we need at the moment.

"I know he'll create from the flanks so it's in my thoughts to put someone else up front alongside Bendtner. It could be time for Connor.

"We've got to go to try to take the game to Bolton.

"They played 4-4-2 against Wigan last Saturday and we'll do the same and go and see if we can win the game.

"There was a reason I didn't play Ji (Dong-Won) or Connor against Arsenal. I thought with Ji coming back from Korea with all the travelling he'd done, it would have been unfair on him.

"Connor hadn't trained for 10 days before taking part on the Thursday and Friday.

"I went with Sessegnon because I thought (Per) Mertesacker would struggle against him and he did."

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Dave Williams

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