“The Matchday That Will Be Looked Back On” – The Real EFL Pundits Predict Derby County vs Bolton Wanderers

The final countdown is on, eight games to go, two automatic promotion winners, four playoff contenders and four relegation spots are all still to be decided. 

With so few League One matches to go, it would be easy to call all of them massive clashes at this point, but for Derby County and Bolton Wanderers, this weekend’s game could make all the difference come the end of April.

Derby and Bolton sit second and third in the division respectively, with only a single point separating the two. Both come into this with strong form, as would be expected for two sides in the upper echelons of the table. The home side have won their last three games on the bounce, after two disappointing losses before then.

Bolton on the other hand have not won as many recently, however, they are now on an unbeaten run of four matches, although they will be hoping they are not made to rue draws against Exeter and Barnsley which are in that run.

Both have fine goalscoring form over the season, including in recent matches, yet defensively it is Derby who stand out more, having only conceded 34 goals in 38 games.

A win for the Rams will see them consolidate their second-place spot in the league and open a gap of four points, although, a win for the visitors would see them climb above their opposition.

Here’s how two of The Real EFL writing team see it going…

Charlie Beeston

“First of all, what a weekend of action we’ve got. First vs Fourth and Second vs Third. At the end of the season, be sure that this is the matchday that will be looked back on. For this game in particular, it is unbelievably difficult to predict. Both come into this in better form over the last small handful of matches, yet both lost back-to-back games recently. 

For Derby, they’ll know that this is a great chance to pull away from their competition. They have scored in all of their last ten games, including netting eight in their last three matches. Adding that to their five clean sheets in that run, they’ll be flying on confidence coming into this. 

However, their opposition are not slouches themselves. Having scored five against playoff hopefuls Oxford United in midweek, there will be hope between Ian Evatt’s men that a similar performance will see them over the line in this one. Expect goals, these are two of the best sides in the division on that metric, and it will show. I’m sitting on the fence for this one, cannot be called, so a draw is the prediction.”

Derby County 3-3 Bolton Wanderers

Ivan Newsome

“This fixture would’ve been one in which both teams outlined quite a few months ago for being pivotal to their promotion chances. Only one point separates the two sides currently, and there’s fairly little to separate the two on recent form, with Derby getting nine points from their last five games, and Bolton getting eight.

Bolton have struggled with injuries over the last couple of months, but you couldn’t tell that as they thrashed play-off chasing Oxford United 5-0 on Tuesday night. That would’ve done their confidence the world of good, and that’ll carry into this fixture. Derby also picked up a win during the week although not in as convincing fashion beating strugglers Reading who played the last 30 minutes with ten men.

Bolton’s confidence will massively help them and they could get the job done on the road.”

Derby County 2-3 Bolton Wanderers


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