Wigan Athletic v Bolton - Preview

  • March 15, 2008 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/29cf9

Bolton must put their UEFA Cup disappointment to one side as they travel to Wigan Athletic in the Premier League.

The local rivals are both involved in a relegation struggle and need to pick up points if they are to escape the trap door at the end of the season.

Bolton manager Gary Megson decided to rest the majority of his side for the game in Lisbon, with Gary Cahill and Joey O'Brien the only players expected to keep their places.

Ironically, Megson also fielded a weakened side in Europe back in December, where Bolton came off the back of a 1-0 win in Belgrade to beat the Latics 4-1 at the Reebok.

Ali Al Habsi is expected to start in goal if Jussi Jaaskelainen fails to recover from the back injury which kept him out of both legs of the UEFA Cup tie.

Most of the players who were rested for Thursday's game should return to the side, with Gavin McCann also likely to feature after his European suspension.

Kevin Nolan will also have a late fitness test on a back injury picked up in the game against Liverpool two weeks ago, as will full back Gretar Steinsson who is struggling with a thigh injury.

Nicky Hunt is the most probable replacement should the Icelandic international fail to prove his fitness.

Wigan, who sit five places but just three points above Bolton in the table are expected to stick with the same side that drew with Arsenal last weekend.

Emile Heskey limped out of the game with a foot injury, but X-rays have since shown no break, although he remains an injury doubt, as does fellow striker Marcus Bent.

Manager Steve Bruce will be hoping goalkeeper Chris Kirkland can repeat his man of the match performance against Arsenal and keep Wanderers out.

Swedish defender Andreas Granqvist has left the club to join Helsingborg on loan, while Erik Hagen is struggling with a hamstring problem.

Bolton will go above their Lancashire rivals with a victory at the JJB Stadium and finish the weekend in 13th position, while anything else would keep them in the bottom three.

Squads:
Wigan Athletic:
from: Kirkland, Melchiot, Scharner, Boyce, Edman, Valencia, Brown, Palacios, Koumas, Heskey, King, Bramble, Kilbane, Sibierski, Taylor, Pollitt, Aghahowa, Bent, Olembe, Skoko.

Bolton Wanderers: from: Jaaskelainen, Nolan, Davies, Taylor, Diouf, Gardner, Campo, A O'Brien, McCann, Steinsson, Hunt, Samuel, Meite, Cahill, Stelios, Helguson, Andranik, Vaz Te, J O'Brien, Al Habsi, Walker.

Referee: Steve Tanner

Burnden Aces' prediction: 0-0

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Sky Bet League Two Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Exeter City 2 1
20 Tranmere Rovers 2 1
21 Bolton Wanderers 2 0
22 Oldham Athletic 2 0
23 Grimsby Town 2 0
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