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Wolverhampton Wanderers v. Bolton Wanderers

Can the legend made of chins make the difference again?
Can the legend made of chins make the difference again?

Perhaps it's just me, but I am automatically disposed to disliking any other team with the word 'Wanderers' in their name. This rings even more true when the team in question is involved in the very same relegation battle as Bolton. Wolves currently sit bottom of the table, 3 places and 4 points behind Bolton. While a win could not bring them out of the relegation zone, it would be a vital 3 points to stop Wolves from falling too far behind the pack. For Bolton on the other hand, a win could bring them further into the safe zone and help build some momentum on the faltering resurgence the Trotters have been making.

A win at Molineux would mark the first time Bolton has strung together 3 wins in the league in over 5 years, but it's looking like Bolton may just pull it off this time. The statistics are certainly on the original Wanderers' side, Wolves have managed only 1 win against Bolton in the past 10 matches, while the Whites have notched up 7. Head to head aside, Wolves are in an even bigger slump than Bolton at the moment having won only 1 of their last 16 matches. They also hold the unwanted accolade of worst defense in the Premiership having conceded 65 goals this season. Bolton don't exactly look good on paper, but it's not very hard to look better than Wolves this season.

The pressure is mounting on Terry Connor and it will be interesting to see if he will risk playing Karl Henry, who would undoubtedly be a huge boost to the side, but is not necessarily fully fit after spending 4 weeks out with a hamstring injury. Ronald Zubar will also be available again for Wolves after sitting out last week's match do to suspension.

On the Bolton side of things the team news is less encouraging as they will be without the divisive figure of Darren Pratley. This could mean moving Tim Ream into the midfield and going back to the central defender pairing of David Wheater and Zat Knight. Given Wolves' defensive record, Owen Coyle could see fit to play 2 strikers, despite the fact that 4-5-1 has proved the more effective combination this season.

This is a big match for both teams, one looking to cement a comeback and the other desperately trying to get any points before it's too late. It will almost certainly not a be a classic match, but the now-or-never implications on both sides may make it exciting.