Wanderers will need some sort of minor miracle to beat Oxford United after Saturday’s away thrashing.
After all the hype and attention surrounding the start of the new era at Bolton Wanderers, expectations will have been tempered quickly after the weekend’s 6-1 humiliation away at Rotherham.
Thankfully, owing to the relentless pace of matches in League One, Keith Hill’s Bolton side have the chance to put Saturday’s defeat behind them against Oxford United in the first home league match of the new era.
However, many of the problems that surfaced against Rotherham are still likely to be present against Oxford thanks to there being such a small gap between fixtures.
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Fitness and cohesion
While Bolton’s opponents on Saturday, and tonight, will have had a full pre-season under their belts and have played together as a team all season, Keith Hill’s players are still taking their first few steps in the race to catch up.
It’s worth remembering that some of the 10 players who have signed for Wanderers since Keith Hill took charge have only played together once now and they won’t have had any game time prior to their moves to Bolton.
It would, therefore, be miraculous to see a quick turnaround against Oxford United who, after a poor start to the season, are starting to put a string of results together.
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Historically, Bolton have had a fairly average time of things against Oxford. Since the late 1960s, the two sides have faced each other on 22 occasions, with Wanderers prevailing in eight of those games while Oxford have won seven.
Most recently, the sides met during Bolton’s last stay in League One where the spoils were shared once again as Bolton lost 2-0 at home but triumphed 4-2 away.
While we would all love to see a repeat of the latter result at the UniBol tonight, it would take some sort of miracle for Wanderers to achieve that.
But, as always, we live in hope.