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Bolton Wanderers v Birmingham City: LIVE

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Relegation six-pointer, must-win game and all that

Preston North End v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship
Karl Henry returns to the Wanderers side for a big game at home to Birmingham
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Forget Juventus v Real Madrid and Paulo Dybala v Cristiano Ronaldo and co, the big game tonight is at the Macron Stadium for a relegation six-pointer between Bolton Wanderers and Birmingham City.

The sides come into the game sitting in 20th and 21st place in The Championship, with Bolton five points clear of Barnsley in 22nd (who will have a game in hand after tonight) and just two points ahead of Birmingham. A victory for the Trotters could lift us as high as 18th, if Hull and Reading were both also to lose, but the important thing is to push ourselves further away from the threat of relegation. Three points tonight is an absolute must, and losing doesn’t bear thinking about.

However, recent form does not bode well. Bolton have failed to win their last four clashes with the Blues and haven’t even scored in any of those games after a 0-0 draw at St Andrews earlier in the season ended a run of three consecutive defeats. Prior to that, Bolton had been undefeated in the previous four games against Birmingham, but have won just one of the last six meetings between the sides. This doesn’t bode well for a Wanderers side that has failed to score more than one goal in any match since 23 December - scoring just 11 goals in the last 16 matches.

Phil Parkinson makes one change as Karl Henry returns in place of Jan Kirchhoff. That means Antonee Robinson is on the bench and Will Buckley once again starts on the left, with Zach Clough once more remaining on the bench.

The visitors also look to be lining up 4-2-3-1, with a dangerous looking attack of Jota, Jacques Maghoma, Che Adams and former Bolton loanee Lukas Jutkiewicz.

Tonight’s starting lineups are below. You can follow all the action from the Macron in the Comments section below, and feel free to let us know your thoughts on all things Wanderers related in the same place.

Bolton Wanderers (4-2-3-1): Ben Alnwick; Jon Flanagan, Reece Burke, Mark Beevers, Andrew Taylor; Karl Henry, Derik Osede; Sammy Ameobi, Josh Vela, Will Buckley; Adam Le Fondre

Substitutes: Aaron Wilbraham, Zach Clough, Craig Noone, Jan Kirchhoff, Antonee Robinson, David Wheater, Mark Howard

Birmingham City (4-2-3-1): David Stockdale; Dan Harding, Michael Morrison, Harlee Dean, Maxime Colin; David Davis, Cheikh Ndoye; Jacques Maghoma, Jota, Che Adams; Lukas Jutkiewicz

Substitutes: Tomasz Kuszczak. Marc Roberts, Josh Dacres-Cogley, Jonathan Grounds, Jason Lowe, Maikel Kieftenbeld, Jeremie Boga