Bolton are back in action this weekend after sitting out over the international break and will be hoping for their first win of the season against Keith Hill and David Flitcroft’s former side Rochdale.
The weekend’s league match is the third meeting of the two sides this season. Wanderers fell to a 5-2 defeat in the League Cup when Bolton’s youngsters were the club’s only hope and managed to earn a 1-1 draw in the EFL Trophy on October 1 in Keith Hill’s fifth game in charge.
There’s no doubt that Hill and Flitcroft will be looking to finally put an end to Bolton’s winless run when Rochdale come to town on Saturday. The only question is, can they manage it?
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Rochdale, who currently sit 17th in League One will be no pushovers. Brian Barry-Murphy has continued and evolved on the philosophies that Keith Hill employed in his time at Rochdale making them a tricky side to face.
Fingers crossed, however, that Keith Hill can get one over his former player when they meet on Saturday and give Bolton their first win of the season.
The biggest threat that Rochdale pose comes from top scorer Ian Henderson who has netted eight goals in league and cup so far this season. That’s more than Bolton’s entire team has scored in all competitions up until this point.
Joining Henderson in attack could well be Aaron Wilbraham who made quite a name for himself at Bolton after scoring the dramatic goal to keep Bolton in the Championship in the final minutes of the 2017/18 season. He was also on the scoresheet against Bolton in the 1-1 EFL Trophy draw earlier this season.
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Of course, Wanderers boss Keith Hill has been met with one of the better problems to have in football, an abundance of strikers meaning that the Bolton manager has four attacking options to choose from.
However, with Liam Bridcutt expected to be out until December, Bolton are likely to lose a little of their solidity in midfield, even with Sonny Graham impressing against Blackpool.
But given the strength of Bolton’s team now compared to how it was at the start of the season, and the fact this is the first game against Rochdale to be played at home, there is every chance that Keith Hill’s side can register their first win of the season but it will be far from easy.
Bolton v Rochdale: Predicted line up