Championship Gameweek 35: Parkinson’s Trotters To Shock Swansea And Potter?

Swansea in limbo

 

Swansea City’s 2018-19 campaign will likely be remembered for their impressive FA Cup run, which has seen them achieve a Quarter-Final date with Manchester City.

 

Graham Potter has certainly endeared himself to the natives since taking charge in the summer, even if results have not been directly in line with what some would, in most circumstances, expect from a club coming down from the Premier League.

 

 

Potter has not had the appropriate backing from the board, so it is perhaps convenient that he has such a zest for developing academy graduates.

 

Centre-back Joe Rodon, right-back Connor Roberts and wide forward Daniel James have all benefited, with the latter starring enough to earn a January move to Leeds, at least until Huw Jenkins pulled the plug at the last minute on that deal – as well as the departure of midfielder Leroy Fer.

 

The long-serving Jenkins has recently stood down as chairman and while Swans fans will not exactly be sad to see him go, they are also not particularly enthusiastic about the possibility of increased control for American owners, Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan.

 

With the chairman position currently vacant, the club is in a state of limbo and, while Potter has done very well to coach young players to a high standard and introduce a brand of patient, possession play, he has his work cut out and that showed in their last road trip, a 3-1 loss at Sheffield Wednesday.

 

Bolton battling?

 

For all the turmoil at Bolton Wanderers, there appears to have been a small glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, both off the field and on it.

 

Firstly, recent reports suggest there have been small steps towards chairman Ken Anderson leaving the club which, considering how he has conducted himself in that role, especially with regards to payment for the Christian Doidge transfer, must be considered a positive.

 

Secondly, the team has shown signs of fight in their battle against the drop, aside from the recent 4-0 home defeat to an excellent Norwich side.

 

Next to the composed Joe Williams, Callum Connolly has added fresh energy in midfield – he was one of the Trotters’ better players in the recent 2-0 home defeat to West Brom, then scored the winner in a crucial 1-0 victory at Birmingham.

 

In the most recent road trip, Bolton lost 2-1 at Leeds courtesy of a winning goal that took a cruel deflection, but they did not look like a side 21 places below their hosts.

 

There were also signs of Josh Magennis linking up well with late substitute Sammy Ameobi, which could be the way forward for them.

 

 

As Magennis showed at Charlton, he is the type of striker that can have a good game without scoring; he runs the channels selflessly and has the physical qualities to hold the ball up for others, which can sometimes go unnoticed.

 

Ameobi, meanwhile, operates in a slightly deeper position but he takes more responsibility in possession, he is a productive dribbler and can conjure up that bit of magic from outside the box – if, that is, he gets over any recent fitness issues and rediscovers his form from the second half of last season.

 

The task for Parkinson, in these remaining 12 games, could be to build a disciplined unit of eight outfielders who will protect the penalty area, then get the team to play the ball forward early to bring that combination of Magennis and Ameobi to life, should the latter start over more of a classic centre-forward in Clayton Donaldson.

 

The odds remain against Bolton to bridge the four-point gap to safety between now and May, however there is a lot at stake for them going into this game in comparison with their hosts and they look reasonable value to avoid defeat.

 

Tip:

 

Double Chance: Draw/Bolton 6/4

*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article

Specializing in the EFL as well as the Premier League, Gabriel Sutton has seven years of experience writing for various websites, including his own site The Football Lab, voted 2016's Best New Football Blog at The FBAs.

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