It's a derby, relegation six-pointer, the match to end all matches, and (almost) the eve of Christmas Eve rolled into one giant ball of two underperforming teams that occupy the lowest two possible spots in the Premier League. Owen Coyle and Blackburn manager Steve Kean reportedly lead the sack race in England and tomorrow's result could see one of them being sacked before the presents are even under the tree. Both managers have the support of their clubs according to various reports but we'll see how true it is as no matter the result tomorrow, one of the two will be bottom of the Premier League on a total of nine or ten points on the season. The stat has made it's rounds already but in the history of the Premier League, only one side to sit bottom at Christmas has ever escaped the drop at the end of that season. Grim.
Bolton will be boosted by some good news that somehow, the Wanderers played a match (a dreadful loss to Fulham) without having any of their players injured! We hope that Coyle will wise up a little tomorrow and not go with an awful four central midfield combination again like he did to start the weekend's match in London. Gael Kakuta and Dedryck Boyata are likely done at Bolton Wanderers but Darren Pratley still remains for some reason (we really hope he scores the most spectacular goal ever scored to shut us up for a little while). With no fresh injuries, the squad that Owen Coyle has to pick from will be from the same pool but maybe we will see the return of Martin Petrov to the squad. A combination of the Bulgarian and Chris Eagles on the flanks sounds pretty tasty at this point.
Blackburn, on the other hand, do have a fresh injury to worry about. Scott Dann has been sidelined for the next six weeks with a ruptured testicle. That sound you just heard was all of our male readers groaning and feeling his pain.
The derby match against Blackburn is, with no simpler way to say it, a must win. Hopefully the lads will have their moods lifted by Stuart Holden's return to the locker room (where he has apparently started playing pranks again, having been back in the country for less than a day). Either way, the team needs to dig deep, score a couple of goals, and for the love of any god, defend.