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The Preview: Bolton Wanderers v Birmingham City

Posted: Fri 02 May 2014
Author: previews Saturday's' crucial Sky Bet Championship game between Blues and Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium (12.15pm kick-off).

Lee Clark on his side’s prospects of avoiding relegation…
“We’ve still got a huge opportunity, even though it’s not 100 per cent in our hands anymore. If we can do our job, hopefully others around the country can do us a favour, but ultimately it’s about our performance. The players were downbeat after Tuesday night, but they’ve been positive over the past couple of days and have worked hard on the training ground. We’ve got to go again. I’m confident we’ll do our side of things but obviously I can’t affect what’s happening elsewhere in the division.” 

Clark asked if it will be an easier test because Bolton Wanderers have nothing to play for…
“Bolton are one of the form teams in the division and playing with a bit of relaxation, but my players are up for it and focused. Their manager (Dougie Freedman) will certainly want his team to get a positive result. Players should always have an incentive to play well, whether it’s for their own supporters, their own careers - because some of them maybe looking for a new contract there, or trying to get a move to a higher division, so there’s always motivation for players to perform. We’ve just got to make sure that we do our job properly and we give Bolton a tough afternoon. I’m confident because of our away form and how we’ve performed generally away from home. “

Clark on Leicester’s prospects of beating Blues’ relegation rivals Doncaster Rovers…
“Nigel (Pearson) called me on Monday to wish me luck in the game against Wigan. He’s a very good and loyal friend and I’m not surprised he’s been very successful in management. He was very impressive when I worked with him when he was assistant manager at Newcastle and he helped me a lot and took me under his wing. I know that the way he prepares his team and his players. Even though the Championship is wrapped up and they are having the party they deserve to have in front of their own fans and getting presented with the trophy, and they’ll be doing their best to get a result.” 

Blues team news...
Blues captain Paul Robinson is back in contention after completing a three-match ban. Lee Novak (hip) will have a late fitness test. Peter Lovenkrands (ankle) returned to training today and could come into contention. Tom Thorpe (ankle), Neal Eardley (knee) and Matt Green (knee) remain out. 

If you want to place a bet on the game, use Sky Bet and they will give a share of the revenue back to Blues. Plus sign-up now and get a free matched bet up to £30. Just click here. Looking to Saturday's game, a win for either Bolton or Blues is priced at 6/4, with the draw at 5/2.

Blues have sold their full allocation of 3,799 tickets for Saturday's game. Bolton Wanderers are not providing any further tickets to Blues and furthermore have stated that Blues fans will NOT be able to pay on the day. Please do NOT travel unless you already have a ticket.

Crowd safety...
Birmingham City Football Club would like to remind supporters that entering the field of play, throwing objects on, or towards the field of play, is unacceptable and shall be deemed as misconduct by The FA. Any incidents of this nature on Saturday would reflect very badly on Birmingham City and the image of the game. Supporters should also be aware that they are responsible for their own and others' safety when attending fixtures. A full breakdown of the Reebok Stadium's ground regulations can be found here

Other Sky Bet Championship fixtures on Saturday. All matches kick-off at 12.15pm.
Barnsley v QPR 
Blackburn v Wigan 
Blackpool v Charlton 
Ipswich v Sheffield Wed 
Leeds v Derby 
Leicester v Doncaster 
Millwall v Bournemouth 
Nottingham Forest v Brighton 
Reading v Burnley  
Watford v Huddersfield 
Yeovil v Middlesbrough

Stat pack...
- To ensure their survival in the Championship, Blues need at least a draw against Bolton and for Doncaster Rovers to lose away at Leicester City 
- There have been 123 league and cup meetings between the sides. Bolton have won 50 of them, Blues 41 and 32 have ended all-square.
- Neither side has failed to score a goal in the last eight encounters between the two teams.
- Blues' last win at the Reebok was a 1-0 success in a Premiership fixture in October 2003, with Mikael Forssell on target.
- In the corresponding fixture at St. Andrew's in October, Bolton came away with a 2-1 win.
20140501 Bolton context