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League One Saturday preview: In-form pair chasing down frontrunners

Derby County and Bolton Wanderers, two ex-Premier League sides praying for slips from League One's runaway top three, clash at Pride Park in a match neither can afford to lose if they are to retain automatic promotion dreams.

The Rams and the Trotters still need help from Plymouth Argyle, Sheffield Wednesday or Ipswich Town if they are to gatecrash the top-two party, and there is little indication that any of that trio are going to start backing up. Maybe this is the weekend when the landscape changes.

WhatDerby County v Bolton Wanderers
WherePride Park, Derby
When15:00, Saturday 21st January
OddsDerby 19/20, Draw 12/5, Bolton 14/5

Few sides in League One are in better form than fourth-placed Derby and Bolton, in fifth, who meet in a clash of the fallen titans at Pride Park.

The 19/20 Rams are unbeaten in 16 since the middle of October, a sequence that features a 0-0 draw with Liverpool, a 0-0 draw at Bolton last month and has culminated in a four-game winning streak.

Bolton's only defeat in 13 was 3-2 at Shrewsbury Town and the 14/5 shots have not conceded a goal in over seven hours.

There will be tension and respect and quite possibly no goals - no teams have been involved in more 0-0 draws than these two, 11 between them, and no goalscorer is a 17/2 chance.

Bolton have also had to undergo a swift and major refit up front with last season's top scorer Dapo Afolayan having joined St Pauli and Jon Bodvarsson injured against Portsmouth last week. Manchester United youngster Shola Shoretire goes straight into the squad and will be hoping to have an instant impact.

Ipswich hurt by recent draws

WhatOxford United v Ipswich Town
WhereKassam Stadium, Oxford
When15:00, Saturday 21st January
OddsOxford 14/5, Draw 5/2, Ipswich 19/20

The one of the top three who might be blinking first are Ipswich Town. They aren't losing the plot, simply dropping more points than Plymouth or Sheff Wed courtesy of draws - six in their last ten matches.

It's 5/2 they add to their draw tally at Oxford, a much-improved side who have lost only two of their last 12, one of which was a 3-0 reverse at Portman Road on Boxing Day.

The recent nature and severity of that loss may well have punters thinking twice about backing Karl Robinson's men at 14/5, especially when you consider that they have failed to find the net against Plymouth, Wednesday or Derby.

On the flip side, both teams have scored in eight of Ipswich's last 11. It's 3/4 both teams score on Saturday afternoon.

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WhatPeterborough United v Charlton Athletic
WhereLondon Road, Peterborough
When15:00, Saturday 21st January
OddsPeterborough 17/20, Draw 11/4, Charlton 3/1

Two of League One's most recently-appointed head coaches, Darren Ferguson and Dean Holden, square up at London Road.

Holden was a player at Peterborough United in 2007 just before Ferguson arrived for his stint in charge, and he returns to Posh in charge of a Charlton Athletic side who have suddenly woken up.

His first game in charge at The Valley was against Peterborough on Boxing Day - that ended 1-1 - and the Addicks are on a three-game winning run in the league.

Ferguson, meanwhile, has taken charge of one Posh game since being summoned once more, overseeing a 2-0 win at Port Vale and declaring his team good enough to go up. At 6/1 to be promoted, the layers are less sure about the side in seventh.

Jonson Clarke-Harris, the division's top scorer, has notched on each of his last two matches against Charlton and is 7/2 to score first.

Argyle expected to down Robins

WhatPlymouth Argyle v Cheltenham Town
WhereHome Park, Plymouth
When15:00, Saturday 21st January
OddsPlymouth 8/15, Draw 16/5, Cheltenham 5/1

Leaders Plymouth Argyle have won their last four in the league against Cheltenham Town and not conceded in any of them, which should encourage a bet on Argyle and both teams not to score at 6/4.

In the event of a Plymouth slip-up - and Cheltenham have lost three in a row – Sheff Wed can usurp them at the summit if they can oblige at 2/5 against Fleetwood Town.

Portsmouth, meanwhile, will have a new face in the dugout after former Oxford skipper John Mousinho's appointment as Danny Cowley's successor as manager.

Mousinho's first task is to stop the bleeding - Pompey are without a league win in ten - and land odds of 23/20 against an Exeter City side who are unbeaten in four.

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