Another home game, another crunch clash at the bottom of the table. Bolton have got themselves out of the bottom three in recent weeks, but the gap above the trap door is virtually non-existent. Bottom of the pile are Burton Albion, and it`s the Brewers we face tomorrow at the Macron. With all due respect to Burton and all that, anything other than a win for us will lead to an inquest and a lot of moaning.
“To keep ourselves out of the bottom three is key. Our aim all along has been to get to January in touching distance, as close to the teams just above as we can. This four or five games now is really important.”
Phil Parkinson in the Bolton News.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Darren Pratley had picked up a knock against Nottingham Forest but his fitness his improving. It could allow Jem Karacan or Josh Cullen a chance to get back into the team. Adam Le Fondre has tonsillitis, but he probably wouldn`t have been picked anyway.
Player to watch: Sammy Ameobi
He hasn`t always been playing badly, but it has been a few games without a goal for him now, his last strike coming against Norwich about six weeks ago. Hopefully he can bag one tomorrow.
Burton Albion Team News:
Burton have two long-term missing strikers. Record signing Liam Boyce did his ACL in the summer, while former Bolton man Joe Mason has appendicitis. One former Wanderer we`ll see on Saturday is the ever-popular Marvin Sordell, while Stephen Warnock will likely play left-back.
Player to watch: Jake Buxton
At 32 he`s probably a veteran now. Buxton rejoined Burton in the summer after leaving Wigan to stay in the Championship, he`s fairly good in the air so will a fairly decent test for Gary Madine.
Match Facts & Stats
We`ve only ever played Burton once, and it`s fairly recently. We hosted them in the League Cup two seasons ago, and lost 1-0 with Matty Palmer scoring a late goal to send us out. In the end, that season was so awful it barely registered in the end.
Bolton can`t move up higher than their current position of 21st tomorrow, but could go four points clear of the drop zone. A worst-case scenario could see Wanderers drop back to the bottom of the table with a set of tough fixtures ahead.
Burton have lost four of their last five, with their last victory coming in a 1-0 win at Millwall at the start of November. At least they`ve won an away game?
Bolton have 11 points from their last five home games (W3 D2). Burton have five points from their last five away games (W1 D2 L2)
Burton will likely make it a battle, but they do appear to be a team pretty low on quality. We sorely need to win this ahead of a tricky Christmas run of games, and I think we will. 2-1.
We host Cardiff next Saturday, before a Boxing Day trip to Middlesbrough.