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Preview: Bolton Wanderers v Oldham Athletic

Has it really come to this?

Oldham Athletic v Northampton Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

If our current League One status hadn't hit home before now, then writing this Preview title has got me right in the feels.

That's right, Bolton Wanderers welcome....gulp....Oldham Athletic to the Reebok Stadium tomorrow for the very first time in the ground's near 20 year history.

I mean no disrespect to our visitors, but the fortunes of the two clubs have been very different in the years since our last meeting. The 2016/17 season is Oldham 20th consecutive campaign in this division, all the while our beloved Bolton have hit the highest highs as we now live through the lowest lows.

Despair aside, it's shaping up to be an interesting match.

A summer of disruption met Oldham and their supporters was headed by Steve Robinson, who came in as manager following a spell as assistant manager to the Northern Ireland team - this after a career playing for Tottenham Hotspur, Leyton Orient, Bournemouth, Preston North End, Bristol City and Luton Town.

He oversaw a huge change in the playing ranks, with fifteen incomings following fifteen players who left the club. Notable names on the incoming side of things include former Sheffield United playmaker Ryan Flynn, whilst the goals of Dominic Poleon have been keenly missed since his move to AFC Wimbledon.

It took Oldham until their fourth game of the season, away to Bury, before they recording their first victory. In the eight games since they have only won one further game - meaning that tomorrow's match finds the visitors down in 21st position in the league with a disappointing 12 points.

They did, however, win their last game, a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Gillingham away from home, which considering Bolton's last home game was a complete disaster will give them some cause for hope going into the match.

Oldham have proven themselves, despite their relative struggles, to be a tough team to break down, only conceding 12 times in 13 matches this season.

One man to watch is on-loan Crystal Palace striker Freddie Ladapo, who was a name linked to Bolton in the summer.