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Birmingham City Getting Desperate Ahead of Bolton Visit

Birmingham City sit second-bottom of the Premier League and are in vital need of three points when Bolton Wanderers arrive at St Andrews on Saturday.

The Trotters beat Birmingham 3-2 in the FA Cup only last month, thanks to a late winner from Lee Chung-Young, and the home fans at St Andrews will be praying that lightning does not strike twice. Bolton are 2/1 to get all three points, with a draw 23/10.

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish knows time is running out for his club to turnaround their fortunes, as they have slumped since their shock Carling Cup win back in February – they have not win since Wembley and have dropped into the bottom three as a result.

The Blues have only won two of their last nine Premier League games and only four matches at St Andrews all season, which is the equal-fewest in the top flight, and McLeish is hoping the international break has allowed players to get some much-needed rest after a hectic few months.

Bookmakers have the home side at 8/5 to get three vital points on Saturday.

The Scot can welcome top scorer Nikola Zigic and Lee Bowyer back into his side, while on-loan midfielder Alexander Hleb could also feature in the game. Central defender Martin Jiranek is doubtful after having surgery on his toe, while Scott Dan and James McFadden remain on the long-term casualty list.

Bolton come into this game sitting in the top half of the table and on course for their first top ten finish since 2007, which would be a remarkable achievement in their first full season under Owen Coyle.

The visitors have won four of their last five matches against Birmingham, with the other one being drawn, but their away record is not too impressive and they have lost seven of their last eight Premier League matches on the road.

Stuart Holden is out for the rest of the season after damaging cruciate knee ligaments at Old Trafford last time out so, with Mark Davies also a doubt, Fabrice Muamba and Tamir Cohen are both vying for a midfield slot.

With the bottom half of the Premier League so tight, with seven points separating 10th to 20th position, points are going to be crucial for Birmingham and McLeish is confident they can get the required amount to preserve their top flight status, though the Blues are priced at 7/4 with bookmakers to be relegated.

“I think we need another four wins and maybe a draw but we are playing sides that we can get those points against," said the boss.

‘We will be playing a lot of sides in the bottom half with us so we will be looking to get those four wins to take us over the line.

“We fancy ourselves against anyone at home. The league doesn’t lie but we can certainly get a result against anybody and Bolton are no different."

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