Preview: Five talking points ahead of Bolton Wanderers v Hull City

As Wanderers return to Macron Stadium for their first game of 2018, highlights five talking points ahead of this Monday’s Sky Bet Championship clash against Hull City F.C.

1) Ending the festive period on a high

With four quick-fire games in the festive period, there have been plenty of points up for grabs. Wanderers have so far faced Cardiff City, Middlesbrough and Sheffield United respectively and have managed to amass six points from a maximum of nine.

The visitors have also come off a challenging festive period and under new manager Nigel Adkins, the Tigers have earned two points from their previous three fixtures against Leeds United, Derby County and Fulham respectively.

Monday’s crunch clash gives Wanderers an opportunity to add more points to their already impressive festive tally, with Phil Parkinson and his side looking to make it nine points from a possible 12.

2) Back to back victories

Following their impressive 1-0 victory over the Blades, the Whites now have an opportunity to win back to back league games for the first time in this Sky Bet Championship campaign.

With only two points separating the sides, the Trotters will see this as a perfect opportunity to gain maximum points and add to their tally of 22.

With Wanderers managing to win their first away game of the season last out, could back to back wins be the next milestone achieved?

3) Team selection

Last time out Wanderers made five changes to their starting XI with Reece Burke, Filipe Morais, Antonee Robinson, Josh Cullen and Adam Le Fondre recalled.

After an impressive victory they will be desperate to retain their starting role, however, with first-team regulars hopeful of a return from injury, manager Phil Parkinson will have some tough decisions to make.

4) Formation

Wanderers made a return to their early season 3-5-2 formation in their last outing at Bramall Lane with Filipe Morais and Antonee Robinson acting as wing-backs and Adam Le Fondre partnering Gary Madine upfront.

Normally consistent with a 4-5-1 formation, Saturday’s victory is likely create a dilemma over which formation will be used on New Years Day.

5) Out of the relegation zone?

Despite winning their final game of 2017, Wanderers remain just inside the drop zone with only goal difference separating Phil Parkinson’s side from Sunderland.

With only two points separating the sides, a victory could see the Whites climb out of the drop zone after a crucial run of fixtures.

Having previously been out of the relegation zone on only one occasion, Monday’s fixture represents a perfect opportunity to do so again and build momentum for the second half of the campaign.

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