Tranmere Rovers v Bolton Wanderers – match preview.
English Football League Two
Saturday 23rd January 2021
This weekend, Tranmere aim to win two consecutive games for the first time since early December against local rivals Bolton Wanderers. On Tuesday, the Whites beat promotion candidates Forest Green Rovers relatively comfortably and a few weeks ago they smashed Saturday’s visitors 3-0. On the back of that defeat for the Trotters, the Manchester outfit have failed to win in four league encounters. Thus, a team lacking stability goes head to head with a team that needs to find some confidence for themselves. This should make for an interesting and entertaining watch.
When the Whites have every squad member fit and available for selection they are certainly a force to be reckoned with. In my opinion, which I’ve made clear on quite a few occasions, Keith Hill has one of the best squad’s in the division. Thus, to Tranmere’s excitement there is little to report on in the case of injuries and illnesses.
If Eoin Doyle is available for the Trotters, he is certainly a player to keep an eye out for. The club’s top scorer, with nine goals in twenty games, has earned rave reports this season for his performances. Doyle, a 32-year-old Irish forward, signed for the club last season and he has been one of the bright spots in a time of great disappointment for the once European football venturing Wanderers.
The Irishman’s team, who are managed by former Barrow gaffer Ian Evatt, have recently had fears of going out of existence following Bury’s demise. They fortunately avoided this fate. However they will be hoping that whilst they aim to find their feet once again, they can enjoy a relatively successful season in the fourth division. Evatt’s team currently sit in 17th position, eight points away from the glorious playoffs which would offer the Trotter’s a great sense of hope.
The ‘man in black’ this weekend is Neil Hair who will be assisted by Ollie Williams and Steven Plane. The Cambridgeshire-born referee has officiated 17 games this season in which he has awarded 72 yellow cards, one resulting in a red as well as five penalty kicks. Saturday afternoon’s fourth official is David Hunt.
This will be the 40th competitive meeting between the two clubs, who have had many feisty games. The first fixture was played in late September 1971, a 0-0 draw in League Division Three action at Prenton Park. Since then, Bolton have managed to get the better of their opposition on more occasions than not.
Tranmere wins – 12
Draws – 10
Bolton wins – 17
Tranmere’s rivalry with Bolton can be taken back further than the 1990s. However, in this decade Trotters manager Sam Allardyce refused his players the chance of getting changed in the Prenton Park changing rooms due to ‘sour’ reasons.
I believe that Hill will be able to beat his former side, again, at Prenton Park. On Tuesday night the quality that his side possess was put on display and Bolton are in a poor patch of winless form. Also, it has been made evident that the Whites can beat their opposition as when the two club’s last came head to head Tranmere were able to win 3-0.
Teamsheet – Davies, Khan, Clarke, Monthe, MacDonald, Spearing, Lewis, Feeney, Lloyd, Woolery, Vaughan
Scoreline – Tranmere Rovers 2 Bolton Wanderers 1
You can watch this league encounter, as always, on iFollow for the cost of £10.
Thank you very much for reading,