Setting The Scene
Wanderers head into the final game of the regular league season with their fate effectively in their own hands. Three points over Blackpool at the Reebok Stadium would all but guarantee a play-off place, providing Nottingham Forest don’t triumph over Leicester City, who themselves still stand a chance of securing a top six berth, by a landslide margin.
Bolton’s run of just three defeats in their last 16 games has catapulted the side up the league table. Now perched in sixth position, Wanderers are one of four teams (the aforementioned Nottingham Forest and Leicester, as well as Crystal Palace) fighting for two remaining play-off spots.
Blackpool, under the guidance of the recently-appointed Paul Ince, secured second tier football for another season following last week’s 2-1 win against Derby County. Indeed the Tangerines can finish as high as tenth with victory at the Reebok.
Craig Dawson has returned to West Brom after a highly successful three-month loan spell. As a result, Dougie Freedman is expected to select one from David Wheater, Matt Mills and Tim Ream to fill the void in central defence.
Jay Spearing (toe), David Ngog (shoulder), Mark Davies (knee), Keith Andrews (Achilles) and Tyrone Mears (infection) will all miss out.
One To Watch
England U21 international Tom Ince joined the Seasiders from Premier League side Liverpool in 2011 and the youngster has made a huge impact since arriving at Bloomfield Road.
Ince, who also had a loan spell with Notts County under his dad whilst at Anfield, scored his first goal for Blackpool against Doncaster Rovers two years ago and is the club’s current top goal scorer this campaign.
Linked with a move back to the Premier League, Ince is regarded as one of the hottest prospects in English football and was named in the Championship PFA Team of the Year.
|Bolton Wins||Draws||Blackpool Wins|
Man In The Middle
Roger East will take charge of the weekend’s game. The Wiltshire-based official has shown a total of 140 yellow and six red cards in 43 games this season.