Saturday afternoon should play host to an entertaining encounter between two sides competing for the promise of a European adventure next season. With only a single point separating the two sides ahead of kickoff, both sides will be hoping to give their European aspirations a winning boost.
This season, Newcastle fans could have been forgiven for limiting their premier league goals to survival. However, following a run of good results, the Magpies find themselves sitting in ninth place in the league and only trailing sixth-placed Liverpool by four points.
Following the tumultuous sacking of popular manager Chris Hughton earlier in the season, many pegged Newcastle for a swift return into the depths of the championship abyss. Credit must go to manager Alan Pardew, who picked the side up and has them currently playing some of their best football of the season.
With a win against Bolton the Magpies would go some way towards guaranteeing their Premier League status for another season.In the short term three points would see them leapfrog the trotters and edge closer to the promise of a European spot.
November 20, 2010 - Bolton 5 (Davies 18pen, 90pen; Lee 39; Elmander 50, 72) Newcastle 1 (Carroll 52)
(Last six games - all competitions)
Newcastle - WDDLDD
Bolton - WWWLWD
Owen Coyle has his side playing some of the best football in the country and they go into this encounter in a fantastic run of form that has seen them win three consecutive matches in all competitions.
The Magpies are also brimming with confidence following their best away performance of the season last time out, at Birmingham City.
Defenders Steven Taylor and Ryan Taylor could both feature on the bench after recovering from respective hamstring and ankle injuries.
Shola Ameobi is still not ready to return from a fractured cheekbone but resumed light training this week with the aid of a protective mask.
Long-term absentees: Alan Smith (ankle), Hatem Ben Arfa (broken leg), Dan Gosling (knee), Stephen Ireland (knee) are all out
Manager Owen Coyle has no fresh injury concerns.
In-form front man Daniel Sturridge is back involved having been recently cup-tied.
Who will boost their European aspirations with a win today?
Long-term absentees: Zat Knight (knee), Sam Ricketts (Achilles), Jloyd Samuels (Thigh) are both ruled out.
Projected Starting Lineup
Newcastle: Harper, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Enrique, Barton, Tiote, Nolan, Gutierrez, Best, Lovenkrands.
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Alonso, Wheater, Cahill, Robinson, Petrov, Muamba, Holden, Lee, K Davies, Sturridge.
Owen Coyle, Bolton manager: "If we can win on Saturday then we would achieve the same points total that we reached for the whole of last season. I think that shows the progress we've been making.
"There's also the incentive for both sides as we want to put distance between ourselves and the teams below us, whilst Newcastle know there is the chance to leapfrog us in the table."