Bolton Wanderers returned to Sky Bet League One for 2021/22 following a season in League Two.
Off-field problems for Bolton in the 2019/20 season translated to on-field struggles which saw them fielding squads containing just three senior players in the early part of the season. Administration and failing to fulfil fixtures ultimately culminated in a points deduction for the Trotters and when the season was curtailed, they were relegated as the bottom-placed team.
The drop to the fourth tier brought about a change of manager with Ian Evatt taking over the reins. Evatt’s possession-based attack took time to click, but when things started going right, Bolton proved virtually unstoppable racing up the table to claim automatic promotion at the first time of asking.
This season, form has been varied. Bolton enter Tuesday’s game sitting 13th in the League One table, having secured 22 wins in the campaign – using six wins, eight losses and four draws.
In October, Bolton won just two matches in all competitions, lost four and drew one. They scored seven goals in seven games (four of which came in a Papa John’s Trophy match against Liverpool U21) and conceded 13.
However, things have picked up in November with two wins, two losses and two draws, while scoring 10 goals and allowing just eight.
Bolton like home comforts and have scored two goals in their last three outings at the University of Bolton Stadium – however, keeping goals out is more of a challenge with two of these three matches ending in 2-2 draws.
One of those draws was against Stockport County in the Emirates FA Cup – the replay was won by the National League side.
In their last 15 games, Bolton Wanderers have won six, lost eight and two draws. In their last 10 League One matches, the Trotters have tallied three wins, six losses and one draw.
The goals for Bolton come from a variety of players, most notably Oladapo Afolayan with seven. Eoin Doyle is the team’s second-leading goal scorer with four, matched by the recently injured Josh Sheehan who will most likely miss the remainder of the 2021/22 season. Three players have three goals, including Kieran Lee who also has a team-best five assists.
Rovers and Bolton have met just three times since the 2013/14 campaign. That season, Bolton claimed victory in both the home and away fixtures.
The two sides only met once in the curtailed 2019/20 season: a match which ended in a 2-1 win for Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium.