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Preview: Rotherham United v Bolton Wanderers

We look ahead to Bolton's biggest game of the season so far as they travel across the Pennines for a six pointer in Rotherham

Liam Feeney is Bolton's top scorer and assist maker this season, with 4 of each
Liam Feeney is Bolton's top scorer and assist maker this season, with 4 of each
Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Two of the Championship's relegation zone dwellers go head-to-head on Boxing Day as basement side Bolton Wanderers head off to Yorkshire to face Rotherham United.

Transfer embargoed Wanderers haven't won in 22 games and more than 100 days, and haven't won away from home since April. But somehow there's optimism given the performances against Charlton and Fulham in the last two matches - both of which we should have won.

Team News

Rotherham United

It would be a surprise to see Rotherham change too much from the side that defeated promotion chasing Hull City 2-0 last weekend. Former Wanderer Danny Ward led the line that day, but Rotherham boss Neil Redfearn, another ex-Wanderer, could be tempted to play a more expansive game and recall top scorer Jonson Clarke-Harris, Matt Derbyshire or recent signing Leon Best - who got sent off on his debut - to the starting lineup on Boxing Day.

Bolton Wanderers

Wanderers will remain without Wellington Silva and Shola Ameobi through injury, while Josh Vela's fitness will be assessed ahead of the game. The main question marks will be whether Vela will come back into the side, and if Neil Lennon chooses to start Gary Madine or Emile Heskey up front alongside Zach Clough.

Lawrie Wilson returned from the abyss to appear in the Under 21s' 4-3 defeat to Coventry City earlier this week, so may be in contention to make the bench. Jamie Thomas and Kaiyne Woolery both scored in that Under 21 match so could also be contenders for the substitutes bench - and surely both would be better options than Stephen Dobbie?


Rotherham: L L L L W W L L L W

Bolton: D D L D L D L L D D

Top Scorers

Rotherham: Jonson Clarke-Harris 5, Matt Derbyshire 3, Joe Newell 3

Bolton: Liam Feeney 4, Zach Clough 3, Gary Madine 3

Top Assists

Rotherham: Joe Newell 5, Danny Ward 2

Bolton: Liam Feeney 4, Mark Davies 2


Rotherham: Red cards: Leon best 1. Yellow cards: Richard Smallwood 5, Joe Mattock 5, Kirk Broadfoot 4

Bolton: Red cards: Prince 1, Jay Spearing 1, Dorian Dervite 1, Jose Manuel Casado 1, Derik Osede 1. Yellow cards: Mark Davies 6, Jose Manuel Casado 5, Neil Danns 4, Jay Spearing 4

Previous Meetings

Last season's league games between the sides saw 11 goals scored, with Rotherham winning 4-2 at home and Bolton winning 3-2 at home thanks to a Joe Mason hat-trick.

In total Bolton and Rotherham have gone to head 37 times, with Wanderers winning just eight and Rotherham successful on 16 occasions, with 13 draws. Prior to last season the two sides hadn't met in 21 years.

Match Odds

Rotherham 17/12, Draw 27/11, Bolton 11/5

First Scorer: Jonson Clarke-Harris 6/1, Leon Best 13/2, Matt Derbyshire 13/2, Zach Clough 13/2, Gary Madine 13/2, Jerry Yates 13/2, Danny Ward 15/2