So everyone, Saturday has arrived, and we face the first of a potential eight cup finals. A footballing cliché I admit, but as far as footballing clichés go, at least it makes sense and puts every second on the pitch into context. We are 720 minutes away from the Premier League, or only 450 away from devastation. It is in hands whether we earn the right to those extra 270 minutes, and whether we use them to reenter the grand stage our club deserves. Let`s do this.
It`s always difficult playing a team at the bottom of the league when you desperately need those three points. Bristol City may need a miracle to stay up this season, but they won`t go down without a fight. They`ve performed to at least a modest level at home of late, and they will want to ensure that they give their fans a few smiles before they are plunged back into the abyss that is League One football after several years in only mild obscurity.
Nerves are surely going to be issue with the Bolton squad as they look to snatch a playoff place, but I imagine that Dougie is the sort of meticulous thinker that has been actively managing this for quite some time. I think that the Coyle regime had seriously affected the mental state of some of the players; in hindsight I am astonished that the ‘boys club` approach to professionalism didn`t get us relegated sooner than we were. In fact, just how did we spend pretty much all (bar the last day) of his first full season in the top ten? Madness?
Anyway, Dougie`s team of consummate professionals now ooze of the class both on and off the field, and today I expect a classy away victory to put in those all important places BY THE END OF THE DAY. Cardiff will beat Forest, and Boro will surprise Brighton. We will finish this fine Saturday in fifth. FIFTH. FIFTH!!
Dougie is in full agreement with me about Bristol City, it appears. He told the club`s official website: “It is a game that Bristol City have to win, they will have a weight off their shoulder so to speak and they have nothing to really lose.
“They are going to take risks and it makes it hard to anticipate what they are going to do so it is not going to be an easy game this weekend. It is being able to cope with the different scenarios, Bristol City have nothing to lose but on Tuesday night when we play a team which is alongside us in the table.”
Bristol City Team News:
I know so little about their squad, so I`ll let Vital Bristol City tell you:
Bristol City hope to have Cole Skuse available for the visit of Bolton.
The midfielder missed last weekend’s defeat to Burnley with a knee injury, but City will give him a late check ahead of the kick off.
Ryan Taylor is also battling to be involved, but as he has only just returned to training, it’s unlikely that he will make an appearance. Defender Lewis Nyatanga (Achilles) and strikers Sam Baldock (hamstring) and Jon Stead (groin) will have to prove their fitness after recovering from their injuries.
Player to watch: The Goal Netting
They won`t have the ball; so why bother?
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Nothing has really changed regarding our selection situation. Keith is still out with his Achilles injury, and Mears and Riley are out for the rest of the season. I think that when Holden returns from loan, he should utilised as a back-up right back. Fast, defensively sound, clever in the tackle and able to get forward and support the attack: why not?
Player to watch: DAVE
Last time I put Dave in here, he scored. So?
Ngog Ngog Ngog Ngog Ngog Ngog Ngog Ngog Ngog Ngog.
Match Facts & Stats
We`ve only beaten them away three times. Let`s make that four!!!
I think we will win this comfortably. 3-0 to the mighty Bolton Wanderers.
A midweek battle-for-the-ages at the King Power Stadium, followed by a home match against the Smoggies next Saturday. Then it`s only Cardiff, Blackpool, Palace home and away, and a nice little victory against Watford at the home of football. You`ve heard it here first!!