Another must win game, it has to be said, as the League marathon becomes a sprint to the line. Today, Parky's super whites are away to struggling Shrewsbury.
Bolton are absolutely on fire at the moment, scoring four goals in each of the previous three away games. Occupying second place, four points ahead of Fleetwood and having played 38 games each, we really can take a big step towards direct promotion with a win today.
Shrewsbury meanwhile, have had a season to forget at the wrong end of the table. A fairly recent change in manager had provided an upturn in form. But this has faltered and the Shrews are now currently just two points above the relegation zone. Oh and the team below them, Port Vale, have game in hand.
So will this be the ideal scenario for an upset or will Bolton bulldoze aside a struggling team on their promotion crusade?
Bolton go into this game with a four players requiring late fitness tests. Beevers and Spearing recovering from knocks/strains whilst Pratley had a right hamstring. Alfie of course, was knocked senseless by an Oxford elbow, got concussion and must be a major doubt today.
The Shrews manager is Paul Hurst, no me neither. Wikipedia says that he's spent his career as a Rotherham defender and has been in management since 2008 with a number of non league clubs, getting Grimsby promoted to League Two, prior to his move to the Shrews last October. Apparently Hurst has steadied a team that looked like it was heading for certain relegation. They're not out of the woods yet though and have had 2 wins, draws and loses apiece from their last six games. Key midfielder Abu Ogogo is still out with a knee injury, although striker AJ Leitch-Smith returns.
Interesting fact is that their Canadian goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiker rejoins from international duty. Yes, even the Shrews are on the case. Remember when we had international team players?
The main point of interest though is that ex Bolton right back and one time wonder boy, Joe Riley, plays for them. I always liked Riley and hope he goes on to have a good career, just have a bad game today eh. My prediction is that this will be a tougher game than it seems, especially with so many key players carrying knocks or possibly missing. I'm going for a 4-3 Whites win thriller to continue our promotion charge. COYWM.