Bolton Wanderers v QPR - Preview

  • March 09, 2012 | By Chris Mann
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Saturday's lunchtime kick-off sees Bolton welcome Queens Park Rangers to the Reebok Stadium, in what is being described as a relegation six-pointer.

With two points separating the Premier League's bottom five clubs, relegation to the Championship remains a very realistic prospect for both Wanderers and QPR, who sit 19th and 16th, respectively.

With fellow strugglers Wolverhampton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers facing off later in the afternoon, all four teams will know exactly how much a victory would mean in their bids for survival.

Owen Coyle's Bolton began the season in optimistic mood following an emphatic 4-0 win over QPR at Loftus Road, but they have won just five league games since their triumph last August, having won just two of their 13 games on home soil.

If they are record a league double over the Hoops, they will have to improve on their last home display, which saw them lose 2-1 to bottom club Wigan Athletic.

Wanderers captain Kevin Davies injured medial knee ligaments in that game, but he is back in contention after returning to training earlier in the week.

Marcos Alonso featured for the reserves in midweek and was going to be available, but he has flown back to his native Spain following the death of his grandfather.

Paul Robinson has been allowed to join Leeds United on a one-month loan, meaning Sam Ricketts should run unopposed for the left-back position in a defence including Tim Ream, David Wheater and Gretar Steinsson.

Fabrice Muamba is expected to continue on the bench, meaning Ream could continue to feature in midfield, allowing Zat Knight to partner Wheater at the heart of the Bolton backline.

Ryo Miyaichi, Nigel Reo-Coker and Mark Davies are all expected to start and there could be a recall for Martin Petrov or Chris Eagles after Darren Pratley failed to impress against Manchester City last weekend.

David Ngog should continue to hold off competition from Kevin Davies, Ivan Klasnic and Marvin Sordell for the lone striker role.

Stuart Holden, Lee Chung-Yong and Tyrone Mears remain on the injury list and are unavailable for selection after just two appearances between them all season.

Rangers boss Mark Hughes will be boosted by the return of Djibril Cisse for their trip to the North West.

Cisse was sent off in only his second appearance for the club after joining at the end of January, but he is available again after completing a three-match ban.

Samba Diakite is also available after suspension and he, along with Cisse, could come back in at the expense of Shaun Derry.

Luke Young made his return from a hamstring injury in last week's 1-1 draw with Everton and he could continue at full-back.

Adel Taarabt is doubtful after picking up a slight knock, but the likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Joey Barton and Bobby Zamora should all start the game.

Bolton Wanderers: from: Bogdan, Jaaskelainen, Lynch, Steinsson, Alonso, Knight, Ricketts, Boyata, Wheater, Ream, Riley, Muamba, Eagles, Petrov, M Davies, Reo-Coker, Pratley, Miyaichi, Vela, Blakeman, Tuncay, K Davies, Klasnic, Blake, Ngog, Sordell, Eaves, Obadeyi, O'Halloran

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 80
8 Oxford United 46 76
9 Bolton Wanderers 46 73
10 Portsmouth 46 73
11 Ipswich Town 46 70
View Full Standings >>


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