Championship: Bolton Wanderers vs Blackburn Rovers – Match Preview

Bolton Wanderers host Blackburn Rovers in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday (Credit: Tom Sandells)

Bolton Wanderers host local rivals Blackburn Rovers at the University of Bolton Stadium in this weekend’s late Championship fixture on Saturday evening.

Both sides will be looking to bounce back after suffering defeats on Tuesday night, with Bolton losing 2-0 away at Stoke City, whilst Blackburn lost by the same score line on home soil to high-flying Sheffield United.

Blackburn lie 14th in the Sky Bet Championship table, one position above Bolton, yet both sides are in need of a victory with each of them earning just one win in their last five matches.

Bolton have more successful recent history in the fixture, winning seven of the last ten matches between the Lancashire sides including a 1-0 triumph in their last fixture in 2015 thanks to a Gary Madine volley.

Rovers have a much improved side since their last meeting, however, including nominee for September Championship Player of the Month, Bradley Dack, who Parkinson acknowledged will be a threat.

He explained: “They’ve got players who have stepped up, like Bradley Dack and they’ve adapted to the division quickly and they’ve got some older heads in there as well like Danny Graham and (Charlie) Mulgrew who’ve been around the Championship for a while.”

However, he was quick to point out that it is important for Bolton to focus on their own game.

He said: “It’s looking at the possible strengths of them and make sure we are aware of that but equally it’s to make sure we have that attacking intent.

“It’s a game which is going to be keenly contested Lancashire derby and we can’t wait for it.”

Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray is also looking forward to the game but recognises how difficult it will be to beat Bolton.

Tony Mowbray talks to the press about this weekend’s Lancashire derby (Credit: Tom Sandells)

He said: “They’re going to be a really, really hard nut to crack. They’re really well organised, work really hard for each other. A good performance and a win would be nice.”

Team News

Bolton have a number of players unavailable, with Ben Alnwick and Sammy Ameobi still struggling with injuries. Defender Andy Taylor will only be available after the international break and new signing, Lloyd Dyer, is still building up his match fitness.

For Rovers, there are a few less injury concerns. Aside from long term absentees, Dominic Samuel and Ben Gladwin, Mowbray boasts an almost fully fit squad with only Ryan Nyambe a concern for Saturday’s game.

Mowbray said: “We’ve only got Nyambe really who I would class as a doubt for this game.

“Why would we take a chance on a player with a slight hamstring strain when he’s got two weeks to get fully fit.”

Predicted XI’s

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews; Olkowski, Hobbs, Wilson, Grounds; Williams, Lowe, Noone, Oztumer, Wildschut; Magennis.

Blackburn Rovers: Raya; Bennett, Lenihan, Williams, Bell; Evans, Mulgrew, Reed, Dack, Armstrong; Graham.