The festive season always throws up a lot of fixtures in English football. Usually, this would be welcomed with open arms for fans of most clubs.
However, with Bolton facing their worst run of form for two years, supporters will be hoping for a Christmas miracle as Wanderers prepare to play four games in 11 days.
It’s a vital period of the season for the Trotters. A string of good results against very beatable opposition could be the springboard they need to jump up a few places in the table.
December 22, Brentford (A)
Up first in Bolton’s festive fixture list is Saturday’s away trip to Brentford.
Any away game is tricky, but with Brentford currently sitting 19th in the table, with only one win in their last 15 games, it’s definitely a game that Phil Parkinson will be hoping to take something from.
The Brentford game also spells the end to the first half of the season. After the trip to Griffin Park, Bolton will be playing teams for the second time this season.
December 26, Rotherham (H)
Following that, Bolton’s traditional boxing day game is at home against Rotherham, another side struggling to stay above the relegation waterline.
Bolton came close to snatching victory at the New York Stadium earlier this year but had to settle for a point. Wanderers fans will be hoping the reverse fixture at the University of Bolton Stadium will yield a more positive result at last.
December 29, Stoke (H)
Bolton complete 2018 with the visit of Stoke City on December 29. The last time the two clubs met, at what was the Reebok Stadium, was in 2011.
Bolton triumphed over Stoke with a 5-0 thrashing. Chances of that happening this time around are slim, but we can dream.
Earlier this season, Bolton fell to a 2-0 defeat at Stoke but will be hoping for an improved result this time around, however unlikely that may be.
January 1, Hull (A)
And finally, Bolton will begin 2019 with a trip to Hull on New Year’s Day.
The whites’ previous encounter with Hull ended in a 1-0 defeat in October after a tightly fought contest. Providing Bolton can maintain the performance levels shown against Norwich and Leeds in the past two games, the Trotters’ trip to the KCOM Stadium could be a profitable one.
It’s a crucial time for Phil Parkinson’s side as a run of good results could give Bolton the momentum they need to beat the drop at the end of season. Failing to bag any points however, could spell disaster for the Wanderers, with them likely facing relegation come May.
How do you think Bolton will fare this festive season?