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Of the four sides currently occupying a space in the League One drop zone, Morecambe remain best placed to escape relegation with only two points separating them to 20th-placed AFC Wimbledon.
A six-point gap separates Morecambe with Crewe Alexandra in 22nd, making the Shrimps the most likely to climb out of the relegation zone, but with only one win in their previous five league games, that remains easier said than done.
Keeping clean sheets has been an issue that has plagued Morecambe’s campaign so far, with just two shutouts in the league for the Lancashire side since the beginning of October – a run that stretches across 19 matches.
For Bolton, they are a side that cannot stop keeping clean sheets, as the Whites have not conceded a goal in over 360 minutes of football.
Winning all four of the matches in that run, what had looked to be a stuttering campaign for Ian Evatt‘s side suddenly looks a lot more promising.
It is likely that their early-season form will cost them a shot at a playoff berth, but with just over a quarter of the campaign left to play, Bolton sit an unlikely but not impossible 12 points off the top six.
History suggests another three points is likely on order for Bolton this weekend, given they have never lost a competitive match to Morecambe.
Yet to play each other this season, the pair locked horns twice last year, when Bolton drew one meeting with the Shrimps while winning the other.
What has been, on the whole, a pretty dismal campaign for Morecambe has at least had one bright spark throughout: striker Cole Stockton.
Having netted 17 goals for the relegation candidates so far, the Shrimps’ talisman will once again line-up alongside widemen Jonah Ayunga and Arthur Gnahoua.
Toumani Diagouraga is expected to operate in the middle of the park, with Jacob Bedeau and Anthony O’Connor partnering each other in the centre of defence.
For Bolton, their star man will come in the shape of Oladapo Afolayan, who has scored three goals and assisted a further two in his last four games for the Wanderers.
Expect Afolayan to provide creativity for Amadou Bakayoko, who is also looking to score in back-to-back games after netting in the midweek win over Cambridge United.
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James Trafford is a dead-cert to keep his place between the sticks, having kept four clean sheet in four games since arriving at the University of Bolton Stadium, on loan from Manchester City.
Morecambe possible starting lineup:
Carson; Cooney, O’Connor, Bedeau, McLaughlin; Diagouraga, Mcloughlin, Phillips; Ayunga, Stockton, Gnahoua
Bolton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Trafford; Jones, Santos, Johnston; Fossey, Williams, Morley, John; Afolayan, Charles, Bakayoko