MATCH PREVIEW: Bolton Wanderers – Home

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Birmingham return to home soil looking to close the gap on the play-off pack.

St.Andrews will play host to a Bolton Wanderers side desperate for points as they enter the closing stages of the season second from bottom, but only four points off Rotherham United, who occupy the place above the drop zone.

The sides last met back in August, when Will Buckley scored late on to give Bolton a 1-0 win at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Saturday’s extraordinary game saw Blues clinch an away win, after almost losing a four goal lead at Loftus Road. For the visitors, they endured another loss, succumbing to a 2-1 defeat at home to Preston North End. Former Blues frontman Clayton Donaldson netted late on for Bolton, but the damage had been done by then.

Their lack of goal threat has been a major downfall in Bolton’s plight this season, with Josh Magennis and Clayton Donaldson managing only five league goals between them. Josh Magennis leads the way for his side with four goals to his name, but the absence of goals throughout the team has made them look poor in the final third of the pitch.

It should have Monks men fired up with the chance to narrow the gap on the top six. The test will probably be more about Blues than their opponents as Monk will have to take the game to the visitors, who will no doubt be aware of a clinical Adams at Blues’ disposal and wary not to concede early on. It’s been said by fans that we come up short against bottom half teams this season, but the results away to QPR last weekend highlights this side are up for it, whoever the team and occasion.

Bolton’s current predicament is the type of game Blues have found themselves in numerous times the last few seasons, needing points against play-off contending teams to stay up. Therefore, the home crowd will be aware the visitors will be determined to get a result here and upset their hosts.

A win would see Blues go one point behind the play-off places and keep the pressure on Derby and Bristol City, who both sit just four point ahead.

Bolton will not move up in the table, and will remain 23rd should they win at St.Andrews largely due to having the second worst goal difference in the league of -27, 15 worse than that of the Royals above them.

The League’s most out of form team have picked up five points in their last ten games. Their only league win in this run was at home to Rotherham United on Boxing day last year and before this, the Trotters were winless in 13 games.

Monks men will be hoping to inflict another defeat onto the Trotters, and execute what should be a more than comfortable victory for Blues.

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