Fresh from an afternoon of rubbish off-field news, we have a special Monday night treat for you all tonight as, thanks to the powers that be at Sky Sports, Bolton Wanderers take on Brentford at the Macron.
Brentford fans are understandably delighted with a 440-mile round trip on a Monday night in late November, after the fixture was moved to meet the broadcaster's bizarre penchant for showing naff football matches. And Wanderers' players are likely to be even less up for it.
Wanderers go into tonight's clash having not won in their last 11 matches, and with only one win in 22 league games since beating Cardiff City in April. A bizarre fact on Bolton is we have the league's highest proportion of goals scored in the final 15 minutes of matches (36% of our total). Although this probably has more to do with the fact that we've barely scored all season, as four of our mere 11 goals have been in the latter stages of matches.
Both sides go into the game with plenty of players missing. Wanderers are still without Wellington Silva, Zach Clough and Dean Moxey, while Brentford are missing the suspended Harlee Dean and have a lengthy injury list that includes the dangerous Jota, as well as Marco Djuricin, Maxime Colin, Andreas Bjelland, Scott Hogan and Lewis MacLeod.
If you're looking for positives tonight, then only Fulham and Huddersfield have conceded goals in more games than Brentford this season, and they actually have a goal difference of -1. The west London side have endured somewhat of a strange season, having lost former boss Mark Warburton to Rangers in the summer then sacked his replacement Marinus Dijkhuizen after just nine league games in charge.
Lee Carsley was then appointed manager until the end of the season and has done well, winning five and drawing two, but Walsall boss Dean Smith is now rumoured to be waiting in the wings to take the role permanently. That form under Carsley sees Brentford sitting in 11th position, and they could move to within one point of the play-off positions with a win tonight.
Further positivity, if I dare, is that Bolton were unbeaten against Brentford last season - winning 3-2 at home, and drawing 2-2 away - with Mark Davies scoring both his goals for the campaign in those two games.
Bolton have also won three of Brentford's last five visits north. However, if you're of a more negative frame of mind, then you'll enjoy hearing that Brentford have won four of their last seven league matches against Bolton, and have scored the most goals in the league through substitutes (five, joint level with Sheffield Wednesday and Hull City).
Tonight's starting line-ups are below. Stay in touch with all the action from the Macron, or feel free to let us know your thoughts on all things Wanderers, Neil Lennon, Dean Holdsworth, Amir Khan, Stelios etc... in the comments section below.
|LB||Jose Manuel Casado|
Substitutes: Paul Rachubka, Prince, Jay Spearing, Gary Madine, Stephen Dobbie, Filip Twardzik, Rob Holding
Substitutes: Jack Bonham, Sam Saunders, Philip Hofmann, Konstantin Kerschbaumer, Andy Gogia, Yoann Barbet, Sergi Canos