Preview Championship: Cardiff City vs Bolton Wanderers Apr 6, 2015

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While Cardiff City and Bolton Wanderers fans may have been hoping for a promotion push this season, both teams have endured turbulent campaigns and a change of manager.

However, a top-half finish is still within reach of the Bluebirds and the Trotters and a win for either side at the Cardiff City Stadium could boost their prospects of achieving that.

Cardiff City
Cardiff manager Russell Slade looks on ahead of the Sky Bet Championship match between Millwall and Cardiff City at The Den on October 25, 2014

The Bluebirds may have started the season with hopes of regaining their Premier League status, but early on it became quite clear that the Welsh outfit would struggle to live up to that expectation.

Within weeks of the campaign kicking off, Cardiff found themselves in the midst of a relegation battle and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was dismissed only nine months after succeeding Malky Mackay.

Russell Slade was drafted in from Leyton Orient to take the hotseat at the Cardiff City Stadium and has helped the club away from the danger zone and despite drawing with FA Cup semi-finalists Reading, they are only two points away from reaching the top-half of the division.

Cardiff, now back playing in blue after a change of heart from owner Vincent Tan during the season, have become a difficult side to beat of late, having lost only once in their last six matches and have even taken points off high-flyers Brentford and Bournemouth in recent weeks.

With a 15-point gap to Derby County in the playoff places, hopes of a trip to Wembley and a place in the Premier League are very slim at best.

However, a good finish to the current campaign may give Bluebirds fans hope that they can mount a challenge for promotion next season.

Bolton Wanderers
Bolton Wanderers Manager Neil Lennon walks onto the pitch at the start of the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers at St Andrews (stadium) on October 18, 2014

Bolton's campaign has somewhat mirrored that of Cardiff, with a poor start, a possible relegation dogfight, a change of manager and an upturn in form of the second half of the season.

The Trotters had a disastrous start under Dougie Freedman after winning once in their first Championship 10 games and rooted to the bottom of the table.

Freedman left by mutual consent in October before Bolton drafted in Neil Lennon, which brought about a change of fortune at the Macron Stadium.

Such was Wanderers' upturn in form that they are now 10 points clear of third-from-bottom Millwall, heading into the final run-in.

Bolton have only lost two of their last seven games, with one of their two victories in that period coming against Millwall, thanks to a double from Adam Le Fondre.

Lennon's side can still claim a top-half finish, but may need a victory in South Wales to boost their credentials.

Cardiff possible starting lineup:
Marshall; Peltier, Ecuele Manga, Morrison, Malone; Noone, Gunnarsson, Whittingham, Ralls; McAleny, Doyle

Bolton possible starting lineup:
Amos; Mills, McCarthy, Ream; Feeney, Trotter, Bannan, Danns, Walker; Le Fondre, Gudjohnsen

Tag : Championship
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