MX23RW : Thursday, September 23 22:01:11| >> :120:15796:15796:
Jul 20, 2021 at 7pm UK at Reebok Stadium
BoltonBolton Wanderers
PrestonPreston North End
Jones (51')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Preview: Bolton Wanderers vs. Preston North End - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Pre-Season Friendlies clash between Bolton Wanderers and Preston North End, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Bolton Wanderers host Preston North End in a pre-season friendly on Tuesday, with both sides unbeaten in their three matches during the summer so far.

Bolton are aiming to gain momentum ahead of their return to the third tier after gaining promotion from League Two last season, with Preston set to enter their seventh successive season in the Championship.

Match preview

Andrew Taylor in action for Bolton Wanderers on August 22, 2019© Reuters

Bolton left it late to maintain their unbeaten record in pre-season in a 1-1 draw with non-league side FC United of Manchester, with George Johnston scoring a last-minute equaliser.

Wanderers fell behind almost instantly after half time after defender Joel Dixon was robbed inside his own penalty area and duly punished, with Ian Evatt ultimately satisfied to see his side avoid an embarrassing defeat to a team four divisions below them in the English pyramid system.

The 39-year-old endured a tough start after leaving Barrow for Greater Manchester last summer before guiding the club to third place and promotion to League One as a result, with heavy squad turnover understandably taking time to prove fruitful.

The former Blackpool defender will be expected to guide Bolton away from safety as a bare minimum expectation in the coming campaign, with an outside stab at reaching the playoffs not out of the question if they can start well.

Tuesday's test against Preston, who are regarded as a stable mid-table Championship outfit, will be a very useful one in establishing what level they are truly at.

Frankie McAvoy in charge of Preston North End in April 2021© Reuters

Indeed, since being promoted from League One in 2015, Preston have not finished lower than 14th in the table, although failing to reach the playoffs even once has proven frustrating for the Lilywhites' fanbase.

After replacing Alex Neil with Frankie McAvoy in the dugout in March, the 54-year-old's initially temporary status was made permanent in May after winning five of his eight games in charge at the end of last season.

A 1-1 draw against St Johnstone in their second pre-season match was backed up by a superb 1-0 victory at Scottish Premiership runners-up Celtic on Saturday, with midfielder Ben Whiteman scoring his second goal of the week.

As such, Preston should be ultra confident of recording a second straight victory against Bolton, as they look to target finally reaching the Championship playoffs in the coming campaign.

Bolton Wanderers Pre-Season Friendlies form:
  • W
  • W
  • D

Preston North End Pre-Season Friendlies form:
  • W
  • D
  • W

Team News

Ched Evans in action for Preston North End in February 2021© Reuters

Evatt made nine changes at half time against FC United of Manchester on Saturday, so it remains to be seen whether he deploys a similar strategy against Preston on Tuesday.

While match fitness is the most important exercise of pre-season friendlies, the 39-year-old may take this game a little more seriously, with the likes of Nathan Delfouneso potentially having to wait a little longer to be called upon from the substitutes' bench.

Preston, meanwhile, could be unchanged after an impressive performance and result at Celtic Park on Saturday.

Last season's top goalscorer Scott Sinclair started in attack against his former club, so he should do so again at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Bolton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Gilks; Jones, Santos, Baptiste, John; Sheehan, Lee, Sarcevic; Isgrove, Afolayan, Bakayoko

Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Rudd; Storey, Lindsay, Hughes, Barkhuizen; Ledson, Whiteman, Potts, Cunningham; Sinclair, Evans

SM words green background

We say: Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Preston North End

We can envisage Preston edging a tight encounter on Tuesday.

McAvoy's side have looked extremely organised under the 54-year-old's stewardship, so Bolton could struggle to break them down.

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Frankie McAvoy in charge of Preston North End in April 2021
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