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Bolton v Oxford: Prediction, Tips and Odds

Bolton take on Oxford in the League One play-off final and Dan Childs believes that the U's have the capacity to secure a place in the Championship after a closely-fought contest.

Bolton finished third in the regular season and justified their favourites status in the semi-final against sixth-placed Barnsley by winning 5-4 on aggregate.

Oxford’s 2-1 aggregate semi-final triumph over Peterborough was more of a surprise and it puts the Yellows one step away from reaching the second tier for the first time since 1999.

The Trotters are the 10/11 favourites to win without need of extra-time and penalties and are 1/2 to secure promotion.

There is less market confidence behind Oxford, who are 3/1 to win within normal time and 13/8 to go up.

Bolton v Oxford

Bolton v Oxford tips and predictions

Oxford to be promoted - 13/8

Oxford suffered their heaviest defeat of the season when losing 5-0 away to Bolton in March, but they can turn the tables on the Trotters by winning the League One play-off final.

There was nowhere for U's to hide after their heavy loss at the Toughsheet Community Stadium which was a televised encounter.

The defeat left them eighth in League One and meant there was minimal room for error in the battle for the play-off places.

However, Oxford manager Des Buckingham was scathing with his assessment of the performance and his honesty seemed to be well received because the players have scarcely looked back.

Oxford responded by taking 17 points from their final eight league games and they produced a couple of disciplined, organised performances in the play-off semi-finals to achieve a 2-1 aggregate success over Peterborough.

Restricting free-scoring Posh to just one goal was an excellent effort and it sets Oxford up nicely for their Wembley assignment.

Oxford upset the odds against Peterborough and they are considered the underdogs against Bolton, who finished 10 points above them in the table.

Bolton were automatic promotion contenders for much of the season, but their performance levels seem to have dipped in recent times.

They dropped points in seven of their last 11 league matches and showed plenty of nerves across the play-off semi-final clashes with Barnsley before winning 5-4 on aggregate.

Ian Evatt’s side have conceded two goals or more in three of their last five fixtures and their defensive struggles may continue against Oxford, who look overpriced to end their eight-season stay in the third tier.

Mark Harris to score or assist - 2/1

Oxford forward Mark Harris is having his best season as a professional and he has every chance of making a major impact in the play-off final.

Harris’ career was at a crossroads last summer as he came to the end of his time with Cardiff.

He spent six-and-a-half years as a professional with the Welsh side and featured in 87 Championship games, scoring nine goals.

His less than spectacular scoring record was influenced by having to play in multiple positions, but he was recruited as an out-and-out centre-forward by Oxford and has shown what he is capable of by notching 15 league goals in his first full season with the club.

The 25-year-old has contributed six goals and two assists over the last nine games and looks a tempting wager for a goal or an assist against Bolton.

George Thomasson to be booked - 7/4

Bolton have built a reputation as an attacking, possession-based team, but they know how to do the ugly side of the game and are eighth on the League One card count with 101 yellows and six reds.

Out of possession, Trotters’ manager Evatt favours a high press and asks his midfielders to be physical when the need arises.

Therefore, it is no great surprise to see a couple of midfielders leading Bolton’s individual card count, with Josh Sheehan on 12 yellows and George Thomasson on 16 yellows and one red.

Thomasson was booked in each of the semi-final clashes against Barnsley and looks an overpriced shot for a caution at Wembley.

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Bolton v Oxford odds

Bolton - 10/11
Draw -
Oxford -

View the full market and more odds for Bolton v Oxford

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This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdraw or change at any time.

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