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Bolton must win to preserve Premier League status at Stoke

| 09.05.2012

In a match with massive relegation implications, Stoke take on Bolton at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday, priced at 11/8 for victory.

It is 12/5 about the draw, which would not be enough to keep Bolton up, but could be the best they could hope for at a notoriously difficult ground to travel to.

However, after the Trotters recorded a 5-0 success over Stoke in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, some will be inclined to back them to win here at 7/4.

Bolton are two points adrift of safety after surrendering a two goal lead on Sunday, eventually drawing 2-2 at home to West Brom, with QPR now the only team they can realistically catch outside the bottom three.

Owen Coyle’s men will take solace from the fact that they have recorded more points on the road than they have at home this season, and travel to a Stoke side with just one win in their last ten.

The Trotters are aiming to emulate Wigan’s efforts of last season, where the Latics managed to stay up via winning at the Britannia Stadium, and results elsewhere going their way.

Reliant on Manchester City, Bolton could be the only club with as vital a need for triumph as the league leaders, who will clinch the Premier League title if they beat QPR at Eastlands.

As Bolton have won only once at Stoke in the Premier League though, they remain odds-on favourites to join relegated Wolves and Blackburn, at 1/3 for the drop.

Improved away form of late will give them notes of confidence however, after suffering one defeat in four away from the Reebok Stadium, but it remains to be seen whether the occasion will encapsulate them.

It may be worth pointing out that Bolton crumbled the last time these sides met in a high pressure situation, as Stoke emerged triumphant FA Cup semi-finalists by a 5-0 scoreline at Wembley last year.



John Klee