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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 3 September, 2014

Premier League preview: Villa and Bolton ready for relegation six-pointer

Alex McLeish’s side are looking to end a run that sees them without a win in their last six league games.

Reo-Coker says his side have
Reo-Coker says his side have "five cup finals" to play.

BOLTON WANDERERS MIDFIELDER Nigel Reo-Coker wants to take advantage of Aston Villa’s precarious position when the teams meet on Tuesday.

Away side Bolton go into the mid-week fixture second from bottom in the Premier League, four points off Wigan Athletic and the safety of 17th place.

Their next opponents, Villa, are just five points clear of the drop zone, and without a win from their last six matches in the league.

Bolton can also boast a game in hand over Alex McLeish’s side, and they will hope to close the gap on the teams above them with victory at Villa Park.

“There are good games ahead of us from which we can get results and now it’s all about our belief,” Reo-Coker said following his team’s 1-1 draw at home to Swansea on Saturday.

“We’ve got five cup finals ahead of us – it isn’t just Tuesday’s game. We have to go out and show how much it means.

“It’s still so tight – there are three teams currently in the drop zone and there are three teams sitting just above it who could be dragged in.

“That just shows how competitive it is, so we have to compete. Villa might be on edge with where they are in the league but we have to take advantage of that.”

Villa managed a credible 0-0 draw at home to Sunderland in their last fixture, the third draw in the last four outings for McLeish’s men.

With key striker Darren Bent out of action since February, scoring has become a major issue for Villa, who have struck just eight goals in the last 11 matches.

And Villa have not scored more than two goals in a single game since their 3-2 win over Wolves on January 21.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle has no new injury worries to contend with, but he continues to miss long-term absentees Stuart Holden, Chung-Yong Lee, Ricardo Gardner and Fabrice Muamba.

As for Villa, defenders James Collins (groin), Stephen Warnock (ankle) and Ciaran Clark (head injury) are in doubt, while centre-back Richard Dunne is out with a shoulder problem.

Further forward, striker Gabriel Agbonlahor is in doubt with a shoulder issue of his own.

Villa-youth product Agbonlahor is acting as stand-in club captain following Stiliyan Petrov’s diagnosis with acute leukemia last month.

Read: Dunne back in training with Aston Villa>

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