It’s safe to say Bolton Wanderers owe one to Stoke City. Not only did they inflict defeat in the semi-final we don’t talk about, but they also helped get us relegated from the Premier League thanks to Jon Walters. And you can add to that the very lucky victory they got over us earlier in the season, when the shocking referee Jeremy Simpson basically cheated. Not that I was overly angry about it...
So getting a vital three points over The Potters this afternoon would be oh so sweet, and vital to our chances of avoiding relegation. A victory could see Bolton jump out of the relegation zone, while Stoke could move to within just two points of the play-offs.
Wanderers come into today’s game having finally ended a dire run of form with a 2-1 victory over Rotherham United on Boxing Day. However, we haven’t won consecutive home games in more than a year.
But the omens are good when it comes to Stoke visiting Bolton, given they haven’t won in their last nine trips - in which they’ve conceded 21 goals. Although Stoke boss Gary Rowett has won all six of his Championship games against Bolton as a manager.
Phil Parkinson is likely to stick with the same side that defeated Rotherham, while Benik Afobe and potentially Peter Crouch could return to the Stoke starting lineup in place of Saido Berahino.
You can follow all the action from the University of Bolton Stadium on our live feed from 2.30pm and via our Twitter feed.