Ohhhh flipping heck it’s a big one. As is customary these days, nerves will be a jangling come 3 o’clock on Saturday afternoon as Bolton visit the Pirelli Stadium for the first time in their history, to take on fellow relegation protagonists, Burton Albion.
With just two games to go, the stakes couldn’t be higher. A win for Bolton would double this season’s away success and condemn the Brewers to League One football next season. After Barnsley lost at Forest in mid week, if the Tykes fail to beat Brentford at home and the Whites win, the great escape will be complete and we’ll be playing Championship football next season. Other permeations are possible but my head starts to hurt so let’s concentrate on the positives.
Offering a ground capacity of just 6,912, the Wanderers have long since sold out their meagre 1,600 ticket allocation, in what is sure to be an explosive atmosphere and no doubt Burton’s record attendance. There will be a big police presence and having checked their website, I can confirm that, unfortunately, vuvuzelas are officially banned from the ground so fans must refrain from bringing these tomorrow, amnesty bins will be provided.
It’s the proverbial cup final of cup finals for both sides. As kick off approaches. It will be a time for cool heads and keeping calm, holding your nerve and handling the occasion…..I’m bricking it.
Yet again we are struggling to predict the formation or personnel Parky will choose but whoever gets the nod, there are no excuses. We’re looking for big performances from everyone when it matters.
After a man of the match performance in the Wolves’ defeat, Fil Morais is a doubt with a calf strain and Jedi (Antonee Robinson) has a dodgy shoulder, so both face late fitness tests.
Full back Damien McCrory faces a late fitness test on a shoulder injury for the hosts, picked up in their unlikely last gasp win at Sunderland last week.
Former Wanderer Marvin Sordell may well start for Burton unless he is home sick.
Burton 5/4, Bolton 9/5 and the draw is 21/10
Pitch invasion if Bolton score first 1/100
Worryingly for the Whites, Burton’s form has picked up in recent weeks with back to back wins over Derby and Sunderland giving them a decent chance of survival when they looked dead and buried. Lloyd Dyer’s strike in the reverse fixture back in December was enough to give the Brewers all three points in what was a very dark day at the Macron.
As I throw the form book firmly out of the window, It’s still a tough one to call and one that the Whites must be up for from the off. I think the tight ground and close atmosphere will suit us, I;m sure we’ll start strongly and I think we’ll score early. We’ll make it ‘certain’ with around ten minutes to go, then concede at 90+1 minutes to set up a nervy finish. COYWM
Burton Albion 1 - 2 Bolton Wanderers