This is a massive football game for Bolton Wanderers and their fans. Having looked to have done the hard work and got themselves into a position where they appeared almost comfortable, recent results have been poor and they head into the final day in 23rd place and fighting for their lives.

It’s not completely in Bolton’s hands but they will still feel they have a good chance to survive an immediate return to League One. Essentially they have to win this game to stand any chance of staying up. If they do that then Bolton will be playing Championship football again next term, if both Burton and Barnsley fail to win. That is quite plausible given their matches while Bolton could also feasibly catch Birmingham but would a need a four-goal swing in the goal difference stakes.

Nottingham Forest weren’t in a dissimilar position on the final day last year, when they won their game to survive on goal difference at the expense of Blackburn. They’ve never looked in any real danger this season, although it is worth noting that they’ve only got two more points than they managed last term so it would be a bit of an exaggeration to say they’ve made great strides forward.

The board clearly didn’t think so when they dismissed Mark Warburton on New Year’s Eve. The progress under Aitor Karanka has been slow but it wasn’t ever likely to transform overnight and it’ll be interesting to see how they recruit this summer. Forest have picked up a few decent home results of late but their away record makes for pretty miserable reading.

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Forest have lost 55% of their away games this season in the Championship. They’ve scored just once in their last five matches on the road, losing all of the last three. Motivation could also be a bit of a factor and in truth Bolton couldn’t have picked a much better final day fixture to have in these difficult circumstances.

The Lancashire club really have struggled in recent weeks but they have had a knack of picking up wins when they were needed at home this season. A huge 70% of their points have come at the Macron and while they may lack in quality, there is certainly plenty of fight and character in this side.

That may count for plenty in a final day scenario like this and backing a Bolton Win looks the smart bet here against a Forest side that may struggle to get themselves up for the fixture.

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