PREVIEW: Wanderers v Exeter City

Wanderers play their final game before Christmas when they face Exeter City on another ‘Family Day’ at the University of Bolton Stadium.

The Whites will be looking to back up their impressive mid-week win in the Papa Johns Trophy with a seventh home league success of the campaign to stay in the play-off zone.

Reduced-price tickets for Family Day are still available to buy HERE at just £10 for adults and £5 for over-65s and under-18s.

Manager quotes:

Ian Evatt: “They have some good energy in their team, very similar to Matt Taylor’s teams in terms of high intensity, really energetic in transition and lots of forward runners.

“I know their manager (Gary Caldwell) really well. I was captain under him at Chesterfield.

“I envisage a strong, difficult game but one where if we perform to our levels I’m hopeful we can get the three points.

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“We want to win as many games as we possibly can. That goes without saying and Saturday is no different.

“Playing at home is an opportunity for us. We think we’re a good side at home; concentrate on our own performance levels, control what we can control and hopefully get the three points.

“It’s a game we’re looking forward to. The players know what’s expected and we are fully focused on getting the job done.”

Exeter manager Gary Caldwell: “Bolton are a very good side and they have a clear way of playing.

“They have built that up over a number of years of playing from the back through the thirds and trying to create overloads and one-v-ones in the final third to score goals.

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“We have to be prepared to work hard when we have the ball, be prepared to be organised in how we press and then from there we have to be good on the counter-attack and when we have the ball control the ball as well.

“Just like every game in League One, they give you a different challenge and you have to be prepared for that.”

Team news:

Wanderers will have midfielder Kyle Dempsey back in the squad after missing three games with an ankle injury.

However, defender Geth Jones is out with a muscle pull from the mid-week win in the Papa Johns Trophy.

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The vice-captain joins skipper Ricardo Almeida Santos on the sidelines and could be facing a couple of weeks out of action. 

Striker Jon Dadi Bodvarsson is also unavailable as he recovers from surgery on the broken nose he suffered against Bristol Rovers at the start of the month but could be back to face Derby County two days after Christmas.

Exeter have no fresh injury concerns and are missing only their long-term absentees.

Form guide:

Wanderers’ defeat at Shrewsbury Town last weekend is their only loss in six games in all competitions.

The Whites – who advanced to the quarter-finals of the Papa Johns Trophy with a 4-0 win over Manchester United’s U21s on Tuesday night – have lost just twice at the University of Bolton Stadium this season.

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Mid-table Exeter have secured two away league wins so far this season following their promotion to League One.

The Grecians have won once and drawn three times in six league games in a tough run of fixtures against a number of the leading sides since former Wigan, Chesterfield and Partick Thistle boss Gary Caldwell replaced Matt Taylor as manager in October.

Officials:

Referee: Scott Oldham

Assistant referees: Steven Rushton, Joe Simpson

Fourth official: Alex Gray

Kick-off:

Saturday 3pm

Coverage:

For those who can’t make it, the game will be streamed live on BWFC iFollow with a £10 video match pass available HERE

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