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Wolverhampton-Bolton Wanderers Preview
(AP) -- LONDON (SE) - Bolton Wanderers will host a Premier League relegation scrap on Saturday afternoon when they welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to the Reebok Stadium.
Owen Coyle's Bolton side are just a point off bottom and face the impending exit of star defender Gary Cahill in the January transfer window, but the players remain confident of recovering in the second half of the season.
"It would be a massive blow to lose Gary," said goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. "He is a great player and a great asset for the club. Unfortunately, his contract is running out.
"Whatever happens, happens, but hopefully it's the best for him. (David) Wheater played well before he was suspended and we have to believe we have got good enough players to turn things around. I personally think the squad is strong enough as long as we stop those mistakes we have been making at the moment.
"We only have two clean sheets and that's not enough," continued Jaaskelainen. "Ideally, you want to build on clean sheets and hopefully nick a goal from someone else's mistakes. It's going the opposite way at the moment. We are the ones making mistakes and eventually the ball ends up in the net.
"We need to get two or three wins on the bounce. If you look at the Wolves game (on New Year's Eve) it is massive, as is the game at Everton the week after because we have got the big teams coming up. So, the next two games are crucial."
Wolves go into the final round of matches in 2011 just a point clear of the drop zone, but will be high on confidence following their 1-1 draw at Arsenal on Boxing Day.
"We're delighted to be two games unbeaten," said captain Karl Henry. "We'd have liked to have got the three points from the home game with Norwich but to go to Arsenal and go away with something is a big boost.
"It's a busy period still with two games to come, but at least staying unbeaten for these last two means we're in high spirits going into the Bolton game. We left it late to survive last year and we certainly don't want to do that again and put anyone through it again. Fans, players, staff - everyone involved in the club had their hearts in their mouths in the last few minutes of last season and we don't want to leave it that late.
"Bolton is a huge game for us. For them to get three points against us would give them a huge lift and would suck us right back into it. We've got an opportunity to try and move away from the bottom three and we've got to take it."
Bolton remain without Tyrone Mears, Chung-Yong Lee and Stuart Holden, while Sean Davis (knee) and Mikel Alonso (ankle) are a few weeks away from making their returns. Wolves have doubts over Ronald Zubar (knee), while Nenad Milijas is suspended following his red card at Arsenal.
Bolton have lost just one of the last nine league meetings with Wolves, but have lost ten of their last 11 home Premier League games. Bolton are the first team in Premier League history to go 18 games into a season without drawing a single match. Wolves are the only top-flight side yet to score a goal in the first 15 minutes of a match this season, while Mick McCarthy's side have conceded more goals in that time (7) than any other club.
Updated December 29, 2011