Cardiff City v Bolton Wanderers - Preview

  • April 26, 2013 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton travel to Cardiff City on Saturday, knowing a surprise victory could all but seal their place in the play-offs.

Should Leicester City lose to Watford on Friday night, and Nottingham Forest fail to win at Millwall on Saturday, Wanderers would seal their place in the top six with a rare away win.

Malky Mackay's side won the Championship title with a draw at Burnley last weekend and will receive the trophy following the game. A party atmosphere is expected at a sold out Cardiff City Stadium, but it is Wanderers who will hope to be celebrating three points at full-time.

Dougie Freedman looks set to experiment with young players against the Bluebirds, with the likes of Tom Eaves, Chris Lester and Zach Clough all set to make the 18-man squad. Jan Gregus is also in contention to make his first senior appearance for Bolton since joining on loan from Banik Ostrava in January.

Craig Dawson's arrival has helped spark Wanderers' fine run of form in recent months, but he will return to West Bromwich Albion when his loan deal expires this weekend. The England under-21 international should start in the Welsh capital, in what looks like being his final appearance for the club.

David Wheater, Tim Ream and Matt Mills will all be hoping to make the bench, with one likely to be called upon for the final game of the season next weekend.

Zat Knight will captain the side, while Marcos Alonso and Sam Ricketts should continue at full-back in what has become a settled defence in front of Adam Bogdan's goal.

Stuart Holden is back after spending the last month on loan at Sheffield Wednesday and he could be thrown straight back into the fold, with injuries to Jay Spearing, Keith Andrews and Mark Davies leaving Bolton light on options in the middle of the field.

Medo Kamara and Darren Pratley have impressed in recent games and are expected to start. Chris Eagles and Lee Chung-Yong should also feature, meaning Holden's recall could well depend on which formation Freedman opts to play.

A 4-4-2 set-up could see the United States international start on the bench, but a 4-5-1 may give him the opportunity to impress from the off.

Marvin Sordell and Craig Davies are likely to start in attack if a 4-4-2 formation is chosen, although they will be under fierce competition from academy graduates Eaves and Clough.

With the Championship title assured, the Bluebirds could also field some unfamiliar faces. Leon Barnett had been a regular in the absense of captain Mark Hudson, but he won't feature after being recalled from his loan spell by Norwich City. With Hudson unavailable, Ben Nugent could be handed an unlikely opportunity to impress.

Nicky Maynard is closing in on a return from injury, but may have to settle for next weekend's season finale. Maynard completed 75 minutes of a behind-closed-doors friendly against Exeter City on Wednesday but Mackay won't rush back the forward, who has missed the majority of the campaign with a knee ligament problem.

Fraizer Campbell will be handed a late fitness test, while Matt Connolly is out through injury.

Cardiff-born Craig Bellamy is expected to start, as could former Wanderers forward Heidar Helguson - who is the Bluebirds' leading goalscorer this season.

Bolton Wanderers: from: Bogdan, Lonergan, Lynch, Lainton, Alonso, Mills, Ream, Knight, Dawson, Ricketts, Wheater, McKee, Bolger, McQuade, Butterfield, Eagles, Wylde, Hall, Pratley, Holden, Vela, Chung-Yong, Gregus, Blakeman, Lester, Kamara, Woodland, K Davies, Sordell, C Davies, Eaves, Sampson, Odelusi, Clough

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 AFC Wimbledon 18 16
20 Tranmere Rovers 17 16
21 Milton Keynes Dons 18 13
22 Southend United 19 6
23 Bolton Wanderers 15 1
View Full Standings >>


Who is Bolton's 2018/19 Player of the Year?
34.62% Gary O'Neil
19.38% David Wheater
18.92% Pawel Olkowski
9.27% Joe Williams
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2.85% Josh Magennis
2.75% Mark Beevers
1.19% Jack Hobbs
1.01% Ben Alnwick
0.28% Andrew Taylor
0.28% Craig Noone