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EFL League One Boxing Day Preview: Can Cheltenham derail Argyle's title tilt?

It's turning into a very Merry Christmas at Home Park with Plymouth top of League One heading into the festive period but will they still be at the head of affairs following their trip to Cheltenham on Boxing Day?

Any slip-up would offer Ipswich the chance to go back to the summit, presuming they take care of Oxford at home.

There are 11 League One fixtures on a busy Boxing Day card before former Premier League heavyweights Bolton and Derby go head-to-head on the following evening.

Comeback kings Plymouth looking to box clever again

What: Cheltenham v Plymouth, League One
Where: Home Park, Plymouth
When: 15:00, Monday 26th December
Odds: Cheltenham 9/4, Plymouth 23/20, Draw 12/5

Plymouth can do very little wrong at the moment and, after Wednesday night's EFL Trophy win at home to Wimbledon, they are hard to resist at 23/20 at Cheltenham.

Argyle were 3-0 down at the break and heading out of the competition. But after a triple half-time substitution and tongue-lashing from Steven Schumacher, the tie was turned on its head, Sam Cosgrove bagging a second-half hat-trick and the Green Army got home in a shootout.

That's five times now in their last 10 matches they have gone behind and got something from the game, a good habit to have as they set the pace in League One.

Cheltenham are looking better themselves of late and are also into the last eight of the EFL Trophy after demolishing Chelsea's Under-21s 4-0.

Wade Elliott's men have lost only two of nine in all competitions and are nicely rested having not played for 13 days.

Fourteen of Cheltenham's 20 matches have produced two goals or under - it's 9/10 under 2.5 goals against Plymouth - and despite being 17th in the table, they've actually conceded fewer goals than their opponents.

Ipswich hoping to return to winning ways

What: Ipswich v Oxford Utd, League One
Where: Portman Road, Ipswich
When: 15:00, Monday 26th December
Odds: Ipswich 4/7, Oxford 5/1, Draw 16/5

Kieran McKenna marked his year in charge of Ipswich with a 1-0 defeat at Wycombe last weekend, though in 12 months at the club the Tractor Boys have never lost successive matches.

That will give them hope of landing the 4/7 at home to Oxford, though a rapidly-improving Oxford it has to be said.

The Us were well-fancied at the start of the season but have never really got going. Now though they are on a 10-game unbeaten run in all competitions and ready to make a dash for the play-offs.

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Karl Robinson's excellent travellers are unbeaten in their last seven road trips in League One, culminating in last weekend's 0-0 draw at Sheffield Wednesday where Josh Murphy missed an injury-time penalty. Had he himself not replaced Cameron Brannagan, it would have been Brannagan taking the spot-kick and he doesn't miss many.

That was Oxford's eighth draw this season and the first that wasn't 1-1. The 1-1 correct score is a 7/1 shot.

Holden hopeful for perfect start

What: Charlton v Peterborough, League One
Where: The Valley, London
When: 15:00, Monday 26th December
Odds: Charlton 13/8, Peterborough 13/8, Draw 12/5

Dean Holden walks into a difficult situation at The Valley where spirits have been lifted somewhat by their League Cup success over Brighton and reward of a trip to Manchester United in the last eight.

The more pressing concern, however, is arresting a nine-game winless streak and new boss Holden couldn't have arrived at a tougher time with a visit from Peterborough followed by quickfire trips to Oxford and Portsmouth.

It's 13/8 Charlton, 13/8 Posh, who have themselves begun to backpedal at the wrong time with four straight losses.

Sheffield Wednesday are 3/4 to win at Fleetwood but will be acutely aware that Scott Brown's 16th-placed battlers have lost fewer games than fourth-placed Barnsley. They are also the division's draw masters with 11 and it's 11/4 the draw at Highbury.

No side in tier three is in better form than Barnsley, who are 6/5 to win at Accrington, what would be a sixth straight league win.

And there's a huge game at the bottom between MK Dons and Forest Green Rovers, both in the relegation places though also improving.

The Dons - 17/20 shots - produced a stunning 2-0 win at Portsmouth last time out while 10/3 pokes Forest Green have won two of their last three.

Crunch clash at Bolton

What: Bolton v Derby, League One
Where: University of Bolton Stadium, Bolton
When: 15:00, Tuesday 27th December
How to watch: Live on Sky Sports
Odds: Bolton 7/5, Derby 19/10, Draw 12/5

Bolton and Derby - fifth and sixth in the division at Christmas - meet on Tuesday afternoon in a huge tussle for both teams.

These are two sides with Premier League pedigree on the rebuild after falls from grace and mounting very decent promotion pushes.

Bolton have lost only twice at home, while Derby have won just three times away, so the Trotters ought to be confident they can land odds of 7/5.

But Paul Warne's Rams are unbeaten in 12 - a sequence which includes a 0-0 draw at Liverpool in the League Cup - and are blessed with a striker in David McGoldrick who heads for Bolton on the back of a hat-trick in his team's 4-0 drubbing of Forest Green.

The ex-Sheffield United striker always looked too good for this level and is now starting games after injury issues. He's the only player to have bagged two-hat-tricks this season and is 100/1 to get three or more on Tuesday, though more realistically is 12/5 to score any time.

Ian Evatt's men have their own in-form striker in Dion Charles, who has seven for the season in the league, four of which have come in his last three. The former Accrington poacher is 13/8 to find the net at any time.

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