Wolves v Bolton
A relegation six-pointer doesn’t do this match justice in terms of the desperate need of both teams for all three points to improve their chances of avoiding the drop.
The sacking of Mick McCarthy has not had the desired effect for Wolves as they currently find themselves bottom of the table and without a win since Terry Connor took charge in February. After securing a draw in his first match away to Newcastle, Wanderers have lost the following four games, managing just one goal in the process. Two 5-0 defeats against Fulham and Manchester United have done little to enhance confidence amongst the players, or supporters for that matter, but there were some signs of a revival last weekend against Norwich where they took the lead only to lose the match 2-1. Despite the loss the performance was a marked improvement on what they have shown in previous weeks and Connor will be hoping his players can continue in the same vein tomorrow in a match where defeat, or a draw, is pretty much unthinkable.
Bolton have had to contend with issues much more serious than football with the shocking collapse of Fabrice Muamba against Tottenham in the FA Cup a couple of weeks ago. Thankfully it seems as though the young midfielder is recovering in hospital and the hope is that continues. Owen Coyle’s men played their first game since the match at White Hart Lane last Saturday when they faced Blackburn Rovers at the Reebok Stadium. Two goals from David Wheater secured all three valuable points on that occasion which moved them out of the bottom three, but only by a single point. Depending on results, Bolton could find themselves second bottom which shows how tight it is at the foot of the table. Coyle has always maintained that his Bolton side will not be relegated and his stuck to playing expansive football with plenty of attacking threat in his side. It’s all about proving that they are good enough to stay up between now and the end of the season, however, and the players have to be ready to battle – starting tomorrow.
Wolves have found it difficult winning anywhere this season but their home form is especially worrying as they have won just three times at Molineaux. Their last home win came back in December when they defeated Sunderland but since then they have lost seven and drawn one of their following eight games at their stadium. Tomorrow would be the perfect time to rid themselves of that terrible record.
Bolton have won their last two home games in the Premier League but their last success on the road in the league was away back in January when they won 2-1 against Everton. The four games that have preceded that win have resulted in four losses – conceding 10 and scoring none.
Neither side can be a confident selection as the league table doesn’t lie and they are where they are on merit. However, it’s a game where there is value to be had because of that and I think that the price on Bolton is too big to ignore. Okay, their away form has been poor but their last four games have included Chelsea and both Manchester clubs so it’s easy to discount those.
My Selection: Bolton to beat Wolves
Best odds available: 11/5 available with Bwin