It's bottom of the Championship against top of the Championship this lunchtime, with promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough making the trip to relegated Bolton Wanderers. Sky Sports, in their infinite wisdom, have decided to televise the torment.
Wanderers go into today's game without a win in 11 matches, on the back five consecutive defeats in which they've conceded 16 goals, without a clean sheet since December 28th and having not scored from open play since Liam Feeney departed the club last month. Boro, on the other hand, have won their last five matches, having lost three of the previous four.
Bolton have gone into today's game with the ridiculous selection of Emile Heskey up front. Literally, what is the point in that? The inept Mark Davies also starts, along with Darren Pratley. The only youngster of note sees Niall Maher continueat right-back in a team that is totally devoid of any width whatsoever, while Oscar Threlkeld returns to the club on the bench, alongside Kaiyne Woolery and Filip Twardzik.
Middlesbrough look to be in a familiar 4-2-3-1, with Jordan Rhodes leading the line, supported by Stewart Downing with Emilio Nsue and Albert Adomah on the flanks.
Bolton are on track to break the club record for least wins in a season, which currently stands at five back in 1979/80. If they lose three more matches - which seems likely - it will break the all-time club record for most defeats in a season (currently 25 in 1970/71 and 1995/96), and if they draw four of their remaining five games that will also break the all-time club record for most draws in a season (currently 17 in 1991/92). Also, if Bolton keep up their current defensive record they could concede a record number of goals in a season, as they are 16 goals away from the current record of 92 back in 1932/33.
Boro's win at the Macron last season was their only victory at Bolton in their last 14 attempts, but if that sounds vaguely like positivity then today's match odds argue otherwise. You can get up to 12/1 on Bolton to win, at home, and 150/1 for Zach Clough to score and Bolton to win 1-0, and more on the match odds are in Jonny's article this morning.
Today's starting lineups are below, and you can stay up to date with all the action from the Macron and let us know your thoughts on all things Wanderers related in the Comments section below.
|Ritchie De Laet
|Julien De Sart
|Carlos De Pena