If ever there was such a thing as a six-pointer, then surely Wolverhampton Wanderers’ game against Bolton on Saturday is just that, as bookmakers offer attractive odds on both sides to claim victory.
With both sides embroiled in a relegation dog-fight, there is no doubt that a win for either would be seen as a massive boost.
A win for Bolton could see them move four points away from the bottom three, while three points for Wolves would see them close the gap on Owen Coyle’s men to just one point.
Indeed, avoiding relegation looks to be so much harder for Terry Connor’s side, considering they have now picked up just one win from their last 16 Premier League games and are rooted to the foot of the table. Bolton, meanwhile, will be looking to record their third win on the bounce.
The turnaround in fortunes for Bolton just goes to show the importance of chairmen backing their managers, as Phil Gartside has with Coyle.
It is clear that he is overseeing something of a transitional period at the Reebok, and he will no doubt believe that they will finish higher next season.
Furthermore, the fact that Wolves have continued to plummet since letting Mick McCarthy go, simply proves short-termism is not always the answer.
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Bolton’s run-in includes a number of fixtures that they will believe they have a very real chance of taking something from, but it is imperative that they take advantage of games such as this.
Wolves will also feel that there are some winnable fixtures remaining, with the likes of Wigan and Stoke still to come. However, failure to win here, and they are surely doomed.
Overall, there has been 117 league meetings between these sides down the years, with there being very little to separate them, on the whole. Wolves have won 49 times, while Bolton have won 46. In total, there has been 22 draws.
The last meeting between the two teams came back in December, with it ending 1-1. Sam Ricketts handed the Trotters a first half lead, before Steven Fletcher equalised in the second half.
The fact that Wolves have picked up just five points since then, only serves to highlight the scale of their challenge now.