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The Opposition – Bolton Wanderers

Bolton find themselves in the midst of a relegation battle but it wasn’t so long ago that they were aiming high in the Premiership and challenging in Europe.

In 2006, Sam Allardyce took Wanderers into the UEFA Cup, the first time the club had tasted European football and they reached the last 32. Two seasons later, they qualified again after finishing 7th in the Premier League and their European adventure went one better than last time, reaching the last 16.

The club started a downward spiral when Allardyce left to join Newcastle, a decision ‘Big Sam’ regretted as he was sacked a few months later. He was replaced by Sammy Lee but he also last just a few months before he was sacked and replaced by Gary Megson, who in turn was dismissed just a few short weeks ago and replaced by Burnley boss Owen Coyle.

Wanderers sit one place and a point above the relegation zone, with West Ham and Wolves waiting to pounce on any slip up Wanderers produce. They have won just two games from ten away from the Reebok but have a better goal difference from all the bottom seven teams in the league.

Manager – Owen Coyle

Owen Coyle replaced former City midfielder Gary Megson in January but lost his first game in charge at home to Arsenal. His current win ratio is 33% compared to his previous one with Burnley which was 42%

Ground – Reebok Stadium

The Reebok Stadium has been Bolton’s home since the club moved from Burnden Park in 1997 and it’s current capacity is 28,723.

Bolton Facts

Bolton are one of the founder member’s of the Football League way back in 1888.

Their first ever league game was at home to Derby County when the visitors ran out 6-3 winners.

Their first game at the Reebok wasn’t nearly as enthralling; a 0-0 draw against Everton was the best they could manage.

Unlike Burnden Park, which was based in Bolton, their new ground is based several miles away in Horwich.

City legend Francis Lee signed for City from Bolton in 1967 for £60,000, then a club record transfer fee.

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