Premier League strugglers Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers meet tonight in a huge game for both teams.
Betfred Match Odds: Aston Villa Evs, Draw 9/4, Bolton 9/4
Villa find themselves just five points above the relegation zone with 12 points still up for grabs, as they head into the business end of the Premier League season.
With the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Queens Park Rangers and their opponents on Tuesday Bolton (4/7 Premier League relegation) desperate for points, Villa could easily be dragged into a dramatic final day of the season.
Manager Alex McLeish is under heavy pressure to keep his job with the West Midlands outfit and will have to do without the services of James Collins for the clash with the Trotters.
The experienced defender is set to miss out due to a groin strain, whilst striker Gabriel Agbonlahor is a doubt having picked up a shoulder injury during his side’s goalless draw with Sunderland at Villa Park last weekend.
With potentially two of Villa’s best players on the sidelines, McLeish is really down to the bare bones, with a squad that would love the season to be over this instance.
If Agbonlahor is missing it is hard to see where they goals are going to come from for the home side, who will be low on confidence having not won a game in their last six Premier League outings.
Six goals in their last 10 games and none in their last two tells its own story and McLeish will be looking to the likes of Andreas Weimann and potentially Emile Heskey for goals on Tuesday.
As for Bolton they will be buoyed by the absence of Collins in the heart of the Villa defense, with strikers Ivan Klasnic (15/2 First Goalscorer), David Ngog and Kevin Davies set to cause Shay Given problems between the sticks.
The Trotters were outplayed for much of their last outing against Swansea City but still managed to get a point out of the encounter at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday.
With the Lancashire club having injury problems of their own, 18-year-old midfielder Josh Vela looks set to make his Premier League debut for the club, as manager Owen Coyle has very few options left in the middle of the park.
Darren Pratley and Mark Davies are both doubts for the trip to Villa Park and they have been added to the long-term injuries to Stuart Holden, Lee Chung-Yong and of course the recovering Fabrice Muamba.
Bolton have four points between themselves and safety but do have an all-important game in hand over their relegation rivals.
This should be a very cagey and nervous affair on Tuesday night and it won’t be surprising to see just a single goal winning this relegation encounter.
Based on their inability to score and the fact Collins will miss the game, it’s difficult to see Villa (10/1 Premier League relegation) winning this one and Bolton might just edge it, as they look to give their survival hopes a real lift.