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Preview: Oxford United v Bolton Wanderers

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Another must-win game for the lads

Middlesbrough v Oxford United - The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Hot on the heels of Saturday's shit-off-a-shovel last 20 minute win over Northampton Town, Phil Parkinson's Bolton Wanderers make the trek to Oxford to meet United live on telly and Kodi tonight.

With three wins from three, and sitting pretty in second place, Wanderers go into the game in terrific form and will rightfully be full of confidence.

Oxford United lie in 9th, on 55 points. They have an iffy home record, with eight wins, four draws and six losses from their 18 home fixtures so far. They have, however, won two from three, with a loss away to Oldham Athletic coming either side of victories against Peterborough United and Scunthorpe United.

Manager Michael Appleton may have a neck tattoo, but don't let that fool you. His chastening experiences with Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers may have left his reputation dented but he is a committed and talented manager.

The former Manchester United midfielder has created a dogged side in his own image, though they have conceded slightly over a goal-per-game at home this season.

We would be foolish to disregard the lessons of Oxford's 2-1 win at the Reebok earlier in the season, and in the partnership of Chris Maguire and Kane Hemmings they have the sort of firepower that would push any other in the division.

Ex-Wanderer Rob Hall has impressed since (re)joining the team in the summer, yana, and will be hoping his current charges can put one over the side where he failed to make too much of an impact after joining from West Ham United.

It's shaping up to be a fascinating encounter and one that we all hope to come away from with three points in the bag.

COYWM.