For Bolton, the chance has emerged for them to stake an early claim for European football- a luxury not afforded since the days of Sam Allardyce’s rein at the Reebok.
Newcastle also find themselves in a relatively strong position- competent away showings have been marred by inconsistent home form. The international friendly between England and France will have a knock on effect for many clubs this weekend as they count the cost of little niggles picked up at Wembley on Wednesday. Head of Newcastle’s list of concerns is the fitness of Andy Carroll, who made his debut against the French and will hope to have shaken off a lingering groin injury.
Kevin Davies has been in stunning form for Bolton in recent weeks and will be keen to show again why he is deserving of England honours. Many pundits were bemused by his non-selection this week, and will see this as a chance to propel his name back up the list of eligible strikers.