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Relegation on cards for Bolton rather than second Championship surge

Two Trotters are set to return to the limelight after a break when Del Boy and Rodney return to our screens for a Sport Relief special of Only Fools and Horses, with David Beckham set to feature in one of the sketches.

However, another set of Trotters are being kept firmly out of the limelight at present, with Bolton flagging down in the lower reaches of the Championship table.

The result is that Bolton could be tempting at 14/1 in the Championship odds to be relegated this season and some improvement is seriously needed if they are to embark on a late burst of form that mirrors the improvement made in the second half of last season.

On that occasion, Bolton racked up 34 points across their final 17 fixtures and ended up only missing out on the play-offs by one place on goal difference, due to a last-minute Leicester winner at Nottingham Forest.

This time, with 20 Championship fixtures remaining, Bolton find themselves only four points clear of the relegation places after a run of two wins in 10 games.

The latest reverse was their worst for over 20 years when losing 7-1 at Reading, which continues their run of failing to beat a team placed 14th or higher in the Championship standings this season.

Better news is that they are unbeaten home and away against those placed 15th or lower and it is these fixtures that will ultimately determine where they finish the campaign.

Big debts will prevent their squad getting any stronger in the January transfer window and may even see a couple of Dougie Freedman’s better players depart.

No team has won fewer home games than Bolton this season, while only Millwall have conceded more goals on the road.

With no team below Bolton losing in the last round of Championship fixtures, they must be classified as serious relegation contenders.

Alternatively, Coral are offering the best odds of three of the four relegation favourites, with Yeovil offered at 2/5, Barnsley at 4/9 and Millwall at 12/5.