After a week off for international football, it`s time for the final stretch. Seven games to decide whether Bolton Wanderers will have another season in the Championship or drop down to League One. The first part of the vital Easter-doubleheader sees us go to Leeds. They`re a big club and there`ll a be a lot at Elland Road tomorrow, including our sell-out support. But we are the ones in better form, while we are still struggling on the road, we`ve come from behind to get results at Reading and Sheffield Wednesday. Leeds meanwhile have really struggled since the turn of the year, and recently-appointed manager Paul Heckingbottom has yet to turn results around.
“I think we`ve got the experience to go to a place like Leeds and a full house and handle it, no problem. Over the last couple of games the gaffer has probably picked his most experienced team and we`ve been playing well, picking points up away from home too.”
Darren Pratley speaking to the Bolton News.
Leeds United Team News:
Samuel Saiz, co-founders with El-Hadji Diouf and Jamie Carragher of the Spitting Footballers` Society, is available after recovering from a hamstring problem. Liam Cooper and former Wanderer Andy Lonergan could return, but Stuart Dallas` hip problem will be too much for him.
Player to watch: Pierre-Michel Lasogga
The German striker is on a season-long loan from Hamburg and has 10 goals to his name despite a spell out injured, but hasn`t scored since February.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Darren Pratley did come off against Villa with a leg injury so may still be a doubt. Jan Kirchhoff could be involved after a hamstring problem ruled him out a fortnight ago.
Player to watch: Will Buckley
Buckley has started to get a few starts in recent weeks, tomorrow he`s likely to face a club where things didn`t really work out for him. He made four appearances for Leeds two seasons ago but struggled to get in the starting lineup, before returning to then-parent club Sunderland.
Match Facts & Stats
Bolton haven`t been beaten home and away by Leeds in the same season for 20 years.
Bolton`s last victory over Leeds was in March 2014, when we ran out 5-1 winners. We achieved back-to-back wins at Elland Road in 2002 and 2003 but lost 2-1 on our last visit two years ago.
The reverse fixture took place on the opening weekend of the season, we lost 3-2, with Gary Madine and Adam Le Fondre scoring our goals.
Filipe Morais is the scorer of the only Bolton league goal this season not scored by an Englishman.
Bolton have won three of their 12 league games in 2018, for 14 points, 16th in that league. Leeds have won one from 12. Only Burton and Sunderland have picked up fewer points than Leeds` seven.
I`ll go for a cautious 1-1 draw, Leeds are in a state, but we aren`t really stringing a run of wins together ourselves. I would happily take four points from tomorrow and Tuesday.
We host Birmingham on Tuesday, before travelling to Derby next weekend.