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Early team news emerges ahead of Birmingham’s meeting with Bolton

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Bolton Wanderers travel south to St Andrew’s this evening to take on Birmingham City.

Phil Parkinson’s men are sleepwalking to League One after yet another defeat this past weekend.

That leaves them second bottom and four points from safety and looking ever more likely to be dropping back to the third tier, along with Ipswich Town.

Garry Monk’s Blues, however, avoided embarrassment to see of a spirited fightback from Queens Park Rangers last Saturday.

Birmingham were 4-0 up within 36 minutes before giving up their four-goal lead to eventually see the game out 4-3 only after a late QPR penalty miss.

In any of the last seven meetings between the two teams, there has not been more than one goal scored from either side, which points to another low-scoring affair.

Bolton have won just five times this season, and one was against the Blues as they look to double their opponents for the campaign and edge closer to safety, if they do, it will be the first time they have beaten the Blues twice in one season since the 2009/10 season.

It’s an uphill task, however, as, since the start of the 2016/17 campaign, Monk’s teams have kept more clean sheets than any other, amassing the impressive tally of 26.

Ahead of the game, Sky Sports issued some early team news from both camps.

For Birmingham, they suggest that Monk could name an unchanged side once again from the win over QPR this past weekend.

There are no new injury worries from the win as they look for a third victory in a row.

David Davies could be pushing for a start having returned to the bench against the Hoops.

Defender Marc Roberts (calf) and midfielder Charlie Lakin are Monk’s only absentees.

Bolton, meanwhile, could call upon Mark Beevers to return to the side after a three-game absence with an Achilles problem.

Defender Andy Taylor continues to be assessed having had to sit out the defeat at the weekend with Jack Hobbs also out.

Pawel Olkowski was back as an unused substitute at the weekend after recovering from a calf strain, but Joe Williams (thigh) and Yanic Wildschut (ankle) are still out and expected to miss the meeting with Birmingham tonight.

The verdict

Bolton look like they are facing an uphill task ahead of the game with players out and others returning to face an in-form Blues side.

Monk has the advantage of no new injury worries, and with an almost fully-fit squad to choose from, he has plenty of options.

Having the luxury of an unchanged squad will be music to the Birmingham fans’ ears as they hope continuity brings them a third successive win tonight.

ScoopDragon Football News Network