Bolton Match Zone

Tough Test Awaits Bolton At Oxford


Bolton will face a tough test of their recent good form when they make the trip to Oxford United tomorrow.

We’ll be looking to make it a seventh successive unbeaten match. Again, we can’t move up any places in the league, Ipswich are five points clear of us, but a win is vital if we’re to get into the play-off reckoning.

IAN EVATT | Manager ahead of Oxford United away fixture – YouTube

Team news

George Johnston missed Tuesday’s win over Charlton with an upset stomach but is once again available. The only players out are the long-term absentees: Josh Sheehan, Elias Kachunga, Andy Tutte and Lloyd Isgrove. Ian Evatt may make changes given the sheer amount of games we have at the moment, but he can leave everyone guessing on that front.

Possible XI: Trafford; Jones, Almeida Santos, Johnston; Fossey, Williams, Morley, John; Dempsey; Charles, Afolayan

Last time

Bolton’s last trip to the Kassam Stadium was in March 2017 – Filipe Morais and Mark Beevers gave us a quick 2-0 lead, before Kane Hemmings pulled one back for Oxford. A Chey Dunkley own goal on the hour mark put us 3-1 up, Chris Maguire pulled Oxford back into it once again but Josh Vela struck in injury time to secure a 4-2 win and establish a four point gap over Fleetwood in the race for that second automatic promotion spot from League One.

The opposition

Play-off semi-finalists last season, Oxford are going well again under Karl Robinson, they’re fifth, 11 points ahead of us. Matt Taylor, who scored the opener when we came from behind to beat them at the UniBol in August, has 14 goals this season. They strengthened their attacking options in January with the acquisitions of Marcus Browne from Middlesbrough and Sam Baldock from Derby, while defender Ciaron Brown has joined on loan from Cardiff. Cameron Brannagan recently scored four goals from the spot in a single game against Gillingham, while James Henry, one of the promotion-winning Wanderers from 2017, now plays at the Kassam Stadium.


The sternest test of our recent run. We need to be a lot better than we were on Tuesday, or we will lose. 2-0 to Oxford.

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