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Match Preview: Cambridge United vs Bolton Wanderers

Wanderers head to the league leaders

Barrow AFC v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet League Two Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

After Antoni Sarcevic’s dramatic equaliser in Wanderers’ 3-3 draw with football league new boys Barrow, Bolton jump back on the coach as they travel to League 2’s early pace-setters, Cambridge United.

Pressure is building on Bolton to get their season underway if they are to match early expectations of promotion from League 2 at the first attempt. Seasons are of course not decided in October but the 11 point lead that Cambridge have over Bolton should be of concern to the Wanderers. Cambridge are on a fantastic ran and have already notched up two separate 5-0 victories this season. Under the management of Mark Bonner, The U’s have been impressive from the off and boast one of the best attacking records in the league which has been backed up with resolute defending.

Bolton will need to raise their efforts for the trip to Abbey Stadium as their own form has been mixed at best. Many Wanderers fans are hopeful that the heart shown in the comeback against Barrow will serve as a catalyst for their promotion hopes. To try and build on the positives from Tuesday, The Trotters have been presented with the opportunity of taking down the league leaders, something they should be relishing. A man key to turning their fortunes will be captain Antoni Sarcevic, who will be hopeful that his midweek winner can give him the springboard to be the influential presence he was in midfield during Plymouth Argyle’s successful promotion season last year.

A big positive for Bolton is the return of midfielder Tom White, who in course for a much quicker return to action than first feared after a strong tackle from former-Wanderer Josh Vela in the EFL Trophy defeat to Shrewsbury Town. Time will also tell if forward Shaun Miller is able to return after reported setbacks in his recovery. Cambridge United approach the game with no new injury concerns but with a heavy fixture list, similar to Bolton, they may choose to rotate one or two players. Notably, former Ireland playmaker Wes Hoolahan is likely to feature for the U’s.

Saturday’s fixture will represent the first time the two sides have faced each other since an FA Cup tie in January 2000. Wanderers ran out 3-1 at Abbey Stadium that day with two goals from Striker Bob Taylor and an Eidur Gudjohnsen strike . Bolton shade the overall head to head record with 5 wins to Cambridge’s 3 with the sides sharing the spoils on 5 occasions.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Cambridge are favourites to take the win, available at 21/20 whilst an away win for Bolton can be backed at 5/2 with the draw at 13/5.

The thoughts of everyone at LOV are with the family and friends of Simon Dobbin, who sadly passed away earlier this week - five years after he was left brain damaged due to a senseless assault after a Cambridge United game against Southend United.

Rest in peace, Simon.