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Club News

Championship Preview: Bolton Wanderers

7 July 2015

Club News

Championship Preview: Bolton Wanderers

7 July 2015

The end of October marks an all North-West affair with Preston taking on Bolton for the first time in 14 years.

These two sides haven’t met since the Play-Off final of 2001 where Bolton came out on top as all North End fans will begrudgingly know.

Their stay in the top flight lasted 11 years until they were relegated in 2012 – and although Wanderers fans would have had aspirations of bouncing straight back up at the time - it hasn’t quite worked out like that, with the Trotters competing mostly at the wrong end of the table since they returned to the Championship.

Last season, the Wanderers concluded the season in 18th place, with Neil Lennon taking over the reins from Dougie Freedman in October after the Scotsman suffered three straight defeats.

Lennon made an instant impact losing just two of his first 12 games, but after failing to register a win in the last five games of the season, Bolton slipped to just three places above the relegation zone.

Head to Head

Preston: 51
Draw: 36
Bolton: 49

A long standing rivalry that first ignited in the FA Cup, in 1885 when Preston beat the Trotters 3-2.

Two years later, North End beat Bolton in the same competition 9-1, and although Preston have seen off the Wanderers a few more times since then, they haven’t picked up even a point against the Trotters since 1992.

On that occasion, it was odds on that North End would record victory, with goals from Martin James and Lee Cartwright giving Preston a two goal cushion going into the latter stages of the contest.

But with nine minutes left to play, Bolton pegged the Lilywhites back – firstly through Scott Green and in the 87th minute, the comeback was complete when Alan Stubbs headed home to leave caretaker boss Sam Allardyce reeling after the final whistle.

The Stadium

Such is the rarity these sides meet each other in recent years, Preston have visited the home of Bolton just once since the Macron Stadium opened in 1997.

Christened the Reebok stadium until 2014, the ground has the capacity to hold 28,000 spectators, with away fans being situated in the south side of the ground.

Played for Both

Craig Davies, Andy Lonergan, and Kevin Davies have all played for both sets of whites over the years, but there’s a current North Ender in the squad who just a year ago was plying his trade in Greater Manchester.

Jermaine Beckford started last season at Bolton Wanderers, but after just two goals in 16 games, the Jamaican International was shipped out to Preston.

After a slow start to his Preston career and an ear infection that ruled him out for a month, there was no stopping the former Premier League marksman with 14 goals in 18 games including that momentous hat-trick in the Play-Off final win over Swindon Town.

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