PREVIEW: Wanderers v Derby County

Wanderers face a Christmas cracker at the University of Bolton Stadium when they take on Derby County.

The televised Bank Holiday encounter sees the fifth-placed Whites take on a Derby side sitting just one place below them in the League One play-off zone.

And Wanderers will have their biggest crowd of the season of over 24,000 there to see it as Ian Evatt’s men look to enhance their impressive home record and seek an eighth win of the season at the Unibol to stay in the thick of the top-six action.

Manager quotes:

Ian Evatt: “I think it’s going to be a huge crowd. We’ve never played in front of a sell-out here.

“I’ve heard lots of comments about what it’s like when it is a sell-out here, so hopefully we can get as many in here as possible and create a really intimidating and intense atmosphere for Derby to come here.

“I love playing here, I love being part of this football club so let’s get as many through the door as we possibly can and hopefully put on a good performance and entertain.

“It’s our house, it’s our home and we want to make sure we come away with the three points.”

Derby manager Paul Warne:

“They know the league, they know the opposition, they know each other and they've had the same manager for a period of time.

“They've got a real good following and backing and got some really good players. Like any team in this league, if you play them on their best day then you are in for a difficult game, but even more so those in the top six.

Paul Warne.jpg

“It's a big game for both teams and hopefully it will be a good one. Whoever comes outs victorious, if a team does, will give themselves a massive boost going into the remainder of the festive fixtures.”

Team news:

Wanderers will again be without the defensive duo of Ricardo Almeida Santos and Gethin Jones with the captain and his number-two hoping for a January return.

But striker Jon Dadi Bodvarsson will be back to bolster the attacking options following surgery on the broken nose that has kept him out for the last couple of games.

Fit-again wideman Lloyd Isgrove is also back in the squad as he looks for a first involvement since October.

Derby are missing only experienced defender James Chester with the former Stoke City, Aston Villa and Hull City man still out with a calf problem.

On-loan West Ham goalkeeper Joseph Anang could be in the Rams’ squad but isn’t expected to replace Joe Wildsmith after recovering from the broken arm that has prevented him from playing for County so far.

Form guide:

Wanderers are looking for back-to-back home wins and a third in a row in all competitions after beating Exeter City 2-0 in their last match before Christmas with goals from Conor Bradley and Dion Charles.

Defeat at Shrewsbury earlier this month remains the Whites’ only league loss since the end of October.

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Derby, one place and one point below the fifth-placed Whites, have suffered only one defeat in 12 games in league and cup – a penalty shoot-out loss to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup.

That run includes eight league games which have produced three wins and five draws for the Rams.

Officials:

Referee: Samuel Barrott

Assistant referees: Daniel Woodward and Mark Jones

Fourth official: Peter Wright

Kick-off:

Tuesday 3pm

Tickets

Tickets are still available to buy online HERE and up to kick-off from the ticket office for home fans and official club members.

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