Preview: Bolton Wanderers vs Blackburn Rovers - Injury boost for away side

Bolton Wanderers Crest

Bolton Wanderers welcome Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers to the Reebok Stadium on Saturday.

Blackburn will travel to Bolton with the boost that influential Tom Cairney has been able to shake off an ankle injury to feature in Saturday's encounter.

Gary Bower's side are currently on a five game unbeaten run and that is with Jordan Rhodes failing to net in his previous eight games. It looks as though there may finally be a bit of stability at the club, as the past few months have been quiet in terms of headlines and on-field performances have improved.

Rovers, despite the loss of Scott Dann to Crystal Palace, didn't concede a goal during February as former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson rolled back the years with some really impressive displays. Bower's squad have the chance to sneak a play off place but must win on Saturday to continue their momentum. 

The hosts on Saturday, Bolton, go into the game looking to build on an surprising 2-0 win against Watford last time out. Before Saturday, Freedman's men had been on a woeful run of form with no wins in their previous eight, most notably their 7-1 loss against Reading back in January.

The Trotters' squad may be bolstered by the comeback of Andre Moritz from injury and can turn new strike pairing  Lukas Jutkiewicz's and Joe Mason. Jutkiewicz's particularly, who has been impressive form since joining from Middlesborough, the 24-year-old has struck three in his opening 6 for Bolton.

Freedman took the pressure off his new front pairing and explained that a solid back four was a fundamental reason behind the win on Saturday:

“The two strikers did well and they will hit the headlines,

“But I really want to talk about the back four who got a clean sheet.” the former Crystal Palace boss explained.

Blackburn, who will be in buoyant mood after picking up three points last time out against Reading, will look to spark a late surge for the play offs. Tommy Spur told BBC Lanacashire

"If they'd have beaten us, they would have been 10 points in front of us. We'd have still had a game in hand but that would have been a lot for us to do.

"It was a must-win game - I saw it as that myself - and it's a massive positive to go there and win 1-0."

Blackburn boss, Gary Bower was in bullish mood when discussing his side's recent good form with the Lancashire Telegraph, stating that Blackburn were; "Nowhere near finished. We're not looking to pat ourselves on the back for what we have done, we're looking to finish as strong as we possibly can."

You can expect a fiery encounter between the two sides who will both be hungry for the local bragging rights, and of course the valuable three points.  

HITC Prediction: 1-2 Blackburn  

images: © Ronnie Macdonald, © Matthew Wilkinson

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