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Match Preview: Blackburn Rovers v Bolton Wanderers

Already relegated and heading into the rivals’ den - this won’t be pretty

Blackburn Rovers v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship
Emile Heskey could score a goal against Blackburn, can any of our current crop?
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Relegated Bolton Wanderers have only local bragging rights to play for as they make the short trip to Blackburn Rovers this Easter Monday.

Wanderers’ fate was finally sealed following the 2-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa on Good Friday, which gives us three more matches for the Relegation Party 2019-style. From personal experience, the final day of the 2015/16 season at Fulham had an awesome atmosphere so hopefully at least the fans can create something to remember in these last few games.

There’s an argument for claiming this is the worst season in Bolton’s history, given Friday’s defeat set a new club record of 27 league defeats in a single campaign. That also extended the club record for most home defeats in a season to 14.

Blackburn fans are likely to twist the knife into Bolton, and you’d fully expect them to. Rovers have had a good season, sitting pretty in mid-table on 56 points having won their last three matches.

Bolton, on the other hand, have lost their last four and lost six of their last seven matches. We’ve also conceded at least two goals in eight of our last ten away matches in all competitions and leaked 26 in those matches. So it’s difficult to see anything other than Blackburn inflicting further pain on Wanderers.

Bolton’s recent record against Blackburn, however, is pretty good. Despite only winning one of the last four meetings, Wanderers have won 8 of the last 13 clashes going back to 2010. However, if you’re looking for goals then this is an unlikely source, given the last four meetings have delivered just 3 goals.

Blackburn won the reverse fixture 1-0 back in October through Bradley Dack’s goal, while Wanderers came out on top by the same scoreline in in December 2015, when Gary Madine’s late goal handed them victory. The previous meeting in August 2015 ended in a turgid 0-0 draw, which I remember winning £16 betting on a 0-0, which was also preceded by a 1-0 Blackburn win in March 2015.

If Blackburn score the opener then it’s almost impossible to see anything other than a home win. Bolton haven’t managed to win an away match after conceding the first goal in Phil Parkinson’s entire reign, spanning some 40 matches since winning 2-1 at AFC Wimbledon in August 2016.

But, we’re going to be back in the Premier League in three years, so all is well.

Match Odds:

Blackburn Rovers: 4/9

Draw: 17/5

Bolton Wanderers: 13/2