Bolton Wanderers (H) Match Preview

The U’s continue to sit top of the table as promotion favourites Bolton come to the Abbey. Another tough test which will show if can really challenge come the end of the season, and there’s an old score to settle…

Saturday’s 5-0 win against Scunthorpe was a comfortable victory against a poor team, but Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Port Vale was a much better indicator of how we can perform against the better teams in this division. Paul Mullin is currently Europe’s top scoring player, and we also have the most miserly defence in the division. Clearly Mark Bonner is doing something right.

Listen to our podcast with Mark Bonner below

Bolton arrive in the basement tier due to a points-deduction assisted relegation last year, but have their sights on an immediate return to League One and have spent big in the summer to bolster their squad. Whatever their reputation, they’re down here now and deserve to be, so they need to get wise to the realities of life in League Two, quickly. They say it’s the easiest division to get out of, but as we’ve found over the past few seasons, mediocrity isn’t enough to succeed, and there’s some good teams down here, not least us.

Expected U’s Line Up: Mitov; Knoyle, Taylor, Darling, Iredale; Hannant, Digby, Boateng, Dunk; Hoolahan; Mullin

We’re going with the 4-4-1-1 formation again, with Hoolahan in a free-role behind Mullin. Ironside can count himself unlucky not to start, but Wes is in great form right now and is without question the best player in the division. Mullin will be first name on the team sheet whilst his rich goalscoring form continues, and it will take a lot for anyone to unseat him. Boateng should be in with a shout of starting again, as he works towards being fully match fit, he’s a class above and when combined with Digby and Hoolahan is part of the best midfield in the league.

Who’s Their Player To Watch? Eoin Doyle

Last seasons top scorer in League Two whilst at Swindon, Doyle is a constant threat up front and one we’ll need to be in top form to counter.

Who’s In The Dugout? Ian Evatt

Having led Barrow to promotion last season Evatt was approached by Bolton to replace Keith Hill. He hasn’t hit the ground running in the League yet.

What’s Their Recent Form Like? Last 5: Won 1, Drawn 2, Lost 2

Any Ex-United Players?

George Taft made over 100 appearances for United over three separate loan spells and one permanent spell dating back to 2015. Released by the U’s in the summer, he was quickly picked up by Bolton but so far hasn’t managed to make the centre back position his own.

Last Time Out:

29th January 2000, Cambridge United 1-3 Bolton Wanderers (FA Cup Fifth Round)

We’ve written already about this massive injustice in our last match against Bolton, and hope to avenge that tomorrow.

From The Archive: 2nd April 1991, Cambridge United 2-1 Bolton Wanderers

You have to go back nearly twenty-one years for our last match against Bolton, but almost thirty to find our last win, Lee Philpott and John Taylor scoring in a 2-1 win at a packed Abbey Stadium during this top-of-the-table clash in 1991.

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