Futures of Lee, Bolton on line
Bolton Wanderers midfielder Lee Chung-yong and his team are in the hot seat before the final round of English Premier League matches on Sunday. Defeat in their match against Stoke City could see them dropping down to the Championship.
As of Wednesday, Bolton were ranked 18th with 35 points, two points behind Queens Park Rangers who currently occupy the last safe spot.
The 23-year-old Lee has made his return after breaking his leg in a preseason friendly, an injury that sidelined him for nine months. He made his first competitive appearance of the Trotters’ campaign in the 2-2 draw against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday. Although he did not score, his 10-minute run out suggests he could still play a role in his club’s survival, though he was clearly lacking match fitness.
Bolton must win their last match to remain in the top flight, while needing one of the two teams above them to lose. There is hope as QPR have to travel to league leaders Manchester City, who themselves need a win to secure a first league title in 44 year. Victory for City would dethrone current champions and cross-city rivals Manchester United.
Ranked 14th, Stoke have been underperforming, having earned just a single victory in their past ten games. Since the Potters are safe from the drop, there is a good chance Wanderers can achieve the result they need.
“We now have to win at Stroke. I believe we can do it. I think everyone will be more than ready for the final game. We have one week to prepare. A very important week and we must concentrate,” Lee said on Bolton’s official website. “QPR beat Stoke. I feel we are a better team than QPR so I hope we can go beat Stoke.”
Wolverhampton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers have also been relegated from the Premier League. Blacxkburn’s fate was sealed in a 1-0 defeat at home to Wigan on Monday, while ensuring the Lactics will stay up.