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Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Goals look likely to flow when Oxford host Bolton

Both sides should push for a win

Adam Le Fondre adds to the high-calibre attacking options at Sydney FC
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Sky Bet League One
Sky Sports 1, 7.45pm Tuesday 

Oxford have been one of the most attractive teams to watch in Sky Bet League One this season and can play their part in a high-scoring contest against Bolton at the Kassam Stadium.

There is a huge incentive for both teams to push for the three points.

A win for Bolton would lift them four points clear of third-placed Fleetwood in the battle for automatic promotion to the Championship, while victory for Oxford would take them closer to the playoff places (within two points or four points depending on Millwall's result at Rochdale).

Oxford need to keep winning to put pressure on the top six and are likely to maintain the positive attitude they have shown this year.

Michael Appleton's side have not drawn any of their 19 matches in 2017 and six of their last seven fixtures have featured at least three goals.

They have hosted promotion-chasing sides in each of their last two home games, losing 3-2 to leaders Sheffield United and winning 2-1 against Scunthorpe.

Appleton has been utilising his full squad – he made five changes for the weekend win over Scunny – and his rotation policy is likely to continue with Oxford having to squeeze in ten more games (nine league matches and the EFL Trophy final against Coventry) before the early end to the League One regular season on April 30.

Top scorer Chris Maguire and pacy attacker Kane Hemmings are among the players likely to come back into the side and the injection of fresh legs should ensure a stern test for Bolton's back three.

Bolton manager Phil Parkinson believes in keeping a settled side and could select an unchanged team for the fourth successive match.
The Trotters have won three games in a row and are playing as well as at any stage of the season.

Midfielder Darren Pratley – back in the side after a long-term injury – has made a huge difference and January loan signing Adam Le Fondre has regained his confidence with four goals in the last three matches.

It should not be a huge surprise that Pratley and Le Fondre – players with Championship pedigrees – have made such a positive impact and they could be key figures in getting Bolton's promotion push over the line.

Bolton have got themselves into a great position with nine games to go and will feel they can win anywhere.

However, there is room for improvement at the back with Parkinson's side keeping one clean sheet in seven and they may struggle to keep out a slick Oxford side.

There should be plenty of attacking intent from both teams and the most sensible approach is to back both teams to score at a shade of odds-on.

Both teams to score
1pt 5-6 Betfair

Team news
Oxford United
Ryan Ledson has joined up with the England Under-20 squad and top scorer Chris Maguire could start after being benched at the weekend.

Jay Spearing returned from injury as a substitute in the 2-1 win at home to Northampton and will be pushing for a start. Mark Davies is a long-term absentee.

Key stat
Both teams have scored in ten of Bolton's last 14 matches.

Bolton have got themselves into a great position with nine games to go and will feel they can win anywhere
E.W. Terms
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