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Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Bolton can secure promotion with Posh triumph

Bolton may have a lot to celebrate about
1 of 1

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Sky Sports 2, midday Sunday

Bolton were in despair a year ago, coming to terms with a second relegation in five seasons and a heavy debt burden, but they can put a troubled period behind them by securing an immediate return to the Sky Bet Championship.

The Trotters know a point at home to Peterborough will almost certainly guarantee second place - they are two points ahead of third-placed Fleetwood, who have an inferior goal difference (plus 21 as opposed to plus 29).

Both of Bolton's last two home games have finished 0-0 but they know it would be a risky strategy to play for a draw against a Peterborough side who have a reputation for carefree, attacking football.

Posh were true to themselves last weekend, winning 4-2 at home to Bristol Rovers in a highly entertaining match. The home side had 12 shots on target, while Rovers had seven.

And they could be dangerous opponents for Bolton, who they defeated 1-0 at London Road in November.

Bolton will have to pay close attention to veteran striker Craig Mackail-Smith, scorer of five goals in his last nine appearances, but the main threat could come from attacker Marcus Maddison, who has pace to burn and bundles of skill.

Bolton may struggle to keep a clean sheet but they can make amends at the other end by exposing a shaky Peterborough defence.

Posh have conceded 59 league goals, the second-highest among the teams in the top 15, and are up against a Bolton side reinvigorated by last Saturday's 2-0 win at Port Vale.

Centre-forward Gary Madine returned from a two-and-a-half-week layoff with a goal at Vale Park.

It was only his ninth league goal of the season but Madine's qualities as a target man make him a hugely valuable member of the side.

With Madine in the team Bolton have won 24, drawn six and lost five of 35 league games - without him that have won none, drawn five and lost five.

The big man can play his part in another victory but there may be a scare or two on the way.

Bolton to win and both teams to score
1pt 21-10 Hills

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Team news
Jay Spearing is expected to recover from a back injury but Darren Pratley (hamstring) is a doubt and Mark Davies (knee) a long-term absentee.

No fresh injuries are reported but Jermaine Anderson and Gwion Edwards (both knee) are ruled out.

Key stat
Both teams have scored in eight of Bolton's last 11 home league matches.

Bolton may struggle to keep a clean sheet but they can make amends at the other end by exposing a shaky Peterborough defence
E.W. Terms
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