Match preview: Bolton Wanderes v Ipswich Town - Everything you need to know

Bersant Celina celebrates his stunning match-winner against Leeds last weekend. Photo: Steve Waller

Bersant Celina celebrates his stunning match-winner against Leeds last weekend. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town take on Bolton Wanderers in a Championship match at The Macron Stadium this afternoon (3pm). STUART WATSON previews the action.

Bolton Wanderers boss Phil Parkinson. Photo: PA

Bolton Wanderers boss Phil Parkinson. Photo: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has warned his team against complacency heading into a run of games against some of the Championship’s strugglers.

Following festive defeats against high-flying Wolves, Fulham and Derby, the Blues steadied the ship with a 1-0 home win against 10-man Leeds United last weekend.

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They now face three of the division’s bottom four clubs in the build-up to the East Anglian derby at Norwich on February 18. That sequence of games starts at 21st-placed Bolton this afternoon and then, following the visit of runaway league-leaders Wolves, continues with games against rock-bottom Sunderland (a) and third-bottom Burton (h).

Asked if he saw this was an opportunity to put a run of results together, McCarthy replied: “No, because one of the few teams who have beaten Fulham were Burton. This league is bonkers.

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“If you start looking at games and thinking ‘happy days, we can get something there’ it’s a surefire way of getting a slap that. I wouldn’t want the players thinking like that.

“I just think the next game is going to be the hardest game of the season – and that’s Bolton on Saturday. And then whoever comes after that, Wolverhampton, I’ll be thinking the same. I don’t look too far ahead.”

Birmingham City's Stephen Gleeson applauds the fans after the game

Birmingham City's Stephen Gleeson applauds the fans after the game - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

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Bolton failed to win any of their opening 11 league games following promotion from League One, but have rallied to climb out of the drop zone. Phil Parkinson’s men have beaten Hull, Cardiff, Barnsley, Norwich and Sheffield Wednesday at The Macron Stadium in the last three months.

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“They probably acknowledged right from the very start that they would be in the bottom half, scrapping away, and teams like that are truly tough opponents,” said McCarthy. “They’re not fazed by being fifth or sixth bottom and even if they drop into the bottom three nobody will be saying it’s a disgrace.

“Phil Parkinson is doing a really good job. He’s got a team littered with Championship experience. It’s the same with Nigel Clough at Burton.”

Cameron Carter-Vickers started 17 Championship games for Sheffield United in the first half of the s

Cameron Carter-Vickers started 17 Championship games for Sheffield United in the first half of the season. Photo: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

He added: “We will be going there trying to get three points as we always do. We’re four points off the play-offs and that’s what we are still aiming for.

“There are teams with bigger squads who have spent a lot of money who think they should be in there, but who knows?”

TRANSFER TALK: McCarthy on Colorado Rapids’ interest in Tommy Smith

Opposition lowdown

Team name: Bolton Wanderers

Nickname: The Trotters

Manager: Phil Parkinson (June ‘16: P85 W36 D19 L30)

Ground: Macron Stadium (28,723)

Last five finishes: 2nd (League One), 24th, 18th, 14th, 7th (all Championship)

Home: P13 W5 D2 L6 F16 A19

Position: 21st

Last game: L 2-0 Brentford (a)

Form: LLWWL WLLWL

Top-scorers: Madine (9), Ameobi (3)

Most assists: Madine (5), Vela (3)

PLAYER TALK: Celina glad he joined Town and not Bolton

Stat attack

– Bolton have claimed 17 points from their last eight home games

– Only Birmingham have lost more Championship away games (9) than Town (8)

– Town are nine unbeaten against Bolton (W6 D3) since relegation from the Premier League

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Last meeting

Ipswich Town 2 Bolton Wdrs 0

Date: Saturday, September 16, 2017

Following a dire goalless first half, Town got the job done against physical opposition. A rare goal from Cole Skuse, a deflected effort, broke the deadlock soon after the restart. David McGoldick’s clever outside of the boot clincher didn’t arrive until a minute to go.

Ipswich Town team news

– Centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham, loan) and midfielder Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham, free) both go straight into the squad.

Bartosz Bialkowski should replace Dean Gerken in goal after missing last weekend’s 1-0 home win against Leeds with a calf strain.

– Jordan Spence serves the final game of his three-match suspension for being sent-off at Fulham.

– Tristan Nydam is available again after missing the last eight games with a hip/groin problem.

– Long-term absentee Tom Adeyemi (hamstring) is back in training and is set to make his comeback for the U23s next week. Flynn Downes (calf/fatigue) is still out.

– Emyr Huws, Andre Dozzell (both knee) and Teddy Bishop (hamstring) are all out for the season.

Bolton Wanderers team news

– Veteran midfielder Karl Henry has been key for Bolton. He faces a late fitness test after missing the last two games with a back/hamstring problems.

– Darren Pratley (fractured leg) is out, while Andrew Taylor (calf) is likely to only be fit enough for the bench.

– Midfielder Josh Cullen was recently recalled from a loan spell at West Ham and has been replaced by Everton loanee Harry Charsley.

Opposition key man

Gary Madine

The well-travelled 27-year-old striker has scored nine goals and laid on five assists for a struggling side.

Bolton recently rejected a seven-figure bid from Cardiff and see him as key to their survival.

Referee

Peter Bankes

Games: 26, Yellows: 89, Reds: 6

Odds

Bolton 8/5

Draw 29/12

Ipswich 39/19

Stu’s prediction

Bolton 1 Ipswich 1

Bolton been strong at home of late and Town not creating much.

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