Bolton and Bury may only lie a few miles apart as the crow flies but the fortunes of their respective football teams couldn’t be more contrasting this season.
Bolton Wanderers sit relatively comfortably in second place in the Championship and with just three games remaining they are at the very least assured a place in the play-offs. Indeed victory over Bury tonight would lift the home side four points clear of third-placed Fleetwood Town whilst such a result would send the visitors closer to the danger zone.
Nevertheless Wanderers haven’t been at their best in recent games and back-to-back defeats at Scunthorpe United and Oldham Athletic have allowed the rest of the chasing pack to narrow the gap. A return back to winning ways is very much a necessity and manager Phil Parkinson will be confident that his side can achieve this against struggling Bury tonight.
For their part, Bury are just a single point above the bottom three as things stand and remain very much on the precipice of relegation. Their recent form has been pretty miserable to say the least with just a single win and three goal-less draws to show for their last eight League One outings. Can they bounce back from recent disappointments by collecting all three points at the Macron Stadium?
Given recent results, Bolton may at first glance look like they are there for the taking, however their recent defeats have all been away from home and they remain particularly solid on home turf with no defeats at the Macron since January. In contrast, the Shakers have managed just two wins on the road since September and as such we don’t fancy their chances of further denting Bolton’s promotion ambitions.
The home side should enjoy a relatively straightforward victory tonight as they open up a four point gap on the chasing pack and with Bury failing to score in four of their last five games, we’ll also be going for a clean sheet for the hosts.