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Match Preview: Bolton Wanderers vs Preston North End

The Beast from the East won’t be stopping this game

Preston North End v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Following on from last weekend’s 0-0 draw at Norwich City, Bolton Wanderers return back to The Macron Stadium to face local rivals, Preston North End.

The game holds importance for both teams. A win for Wanderers could see them move seven points away from the bottom three, whilst a win for Preston would move them to within a point of the Play-Offs.

Preston fans chose today’s game as their yearly Gentry Day, an away day where the travelling North End fans remember and celebrate the lives of fans and players who have passed away. Expect around 4000 travelling fans dressing up and wearing bowler hats.

Wanderers last win against Preston was the 3-0 triumph in the 2001 Division One Play-Off final, having lost once and drawn twice since then. A win today could prove vital come the end of the season.

Interestingly, Bolton have won six of their last eight home games against Preston, keeping clean sheets in five of those wins.

Despite heavy snowfall earlier in the week, the weather won’t put a stop to this game. That is unless after I've wrote this, it snows heavily leading up to the game. All depends on how the roads will be.

Team News

Jan Kirchhoff could be in line to make his debut, after playing 70 minutes for the U23s against Crewe on Monday. Josh Vela could also be set to return earlier than expected, having looked like missing the rest of the season through injury. Mark Little and Karl Henry will miss out through suspension, though will be back for Tuesday’s game against Reading.

For Preston, Daniel Johnson and Tom Clarke will be assessed prior to kick off. Darnell Fisher will miss the game through suspension, whilst Sean Maguire is still injured.

Form

Bolton - WDLLWD

Preston - WWDDDL

Odds

The away side go into the game as favourites at 5/4. A Wanderers win is 12/5, whilst a draw is 2/1.

Match Prediction

Wanderers need the win, Preston need the win. 1-1.