PREVIEW: Wanderers v Plymouth Argyle

Wanderers face League One leaders Plymouth Argyle in the Whites’ first home game of 2023.

Ian Evatt’s men will be looking to stop the Pilgrims increasing their four-point lead at the top of the table and at the same time strengthen their position in the top six.

An eighth league win at the University of Bolton Stadium this season would take Wanderers into fourth place in the table and narrow the gap to Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town, who are both in FA Cup action this weekend.

Manager quotes:

Ian Evatt: “It’s a challenge to have so many back-to-back games against the top sides. But what I will say is it only counts for three points in each individual game.

“Obviously against our direct competitors it’s a bit more of a swing but Forest Green at the end of the month counts as the same as Plymouth does this Saturday.

“We have to attack every game. If we want to improve our season, then we have little margin for error.

“We’ve finished strongly in every season I’ve been here so far and we’re looking to do the same again.”

Plymouth manager Steven Schumacher: “It’s going to be a really hard game. I remember last year was really hard and decided on a set-play.

“The game here (a 2-0 win for Plymouth in August) was open – too open for our liking. They had some big chances; I remember Michael [Cooper] making a big save at an important time, before we killed the game off.

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“They are one of the better sides in the division. They are hard to figure out, they pass the ball really well. It’s going to be a tough afternoon. We are expecting to go there and be up against it.

“There will be spells in the game where we have to defend well. There will be times where we can impose what we want to do on them, also.”

Team news:

Wanderers will have new recruit Randell Williams in their squad for the first time since his signing from Hull City.

If ready to go, the former Exeter City man will offer a possible option at wing-back with Jack Iredale out with a knee injury which will keep him sidelined for a spell.

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The Whites will also be missing forward Dapo Afolayan as he serves the second game of a three-match ban.

Plymouth have lost the services of leading league scorer Morgan Whittaker after he was recalled by parent club Swansea City.

However, Argyle have recruited New Zealand international striker Ben Waine and he could figure for the first time.

Midfielder Callum Wright and left-sided player Saxon Earley could also be involved following their arrivals at Home Park since the opening of the transfer window.

Argyle also moved on Friday to add a fourth signing with the loan capture of Sunderland midfielder Jay Matete.

Form guide:

Wanderers have lost just one of their last 10 games in all competitions and extended their unbeaten run in League One to four matches with Monday’s 3-0 win at Barnsley.

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The Whites are unbeaten in five games at home since an FA Cup exit to Barnsley in early November.

Wanderers still boast the best home defensive record in League One, with just eight goals conceded in 12 games so far this season.

Leaders Plymouth are seeking a fifth successive league win.

Two of the Pilgrims’ three league defeats this season have come away from home.

Their last five away games in the league have brought four draws and a win following a 5-1 FA Cup exit at Grimsby Town.


Referee: Declan Bourne

Assistant referees: Richard Woodward and Alan Clayton

Fourth official: Conor Brown


Saturday 3pm


Tickets are still available to buy for home supporters with details of how to buy here HERE


The game will not be streamed live in the UK but live commentary is available with an iFollow audio pass available HERE


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