Bolton Wanderers vs Oxford United – Expert Insights and Pro Tips for the League One Playoff Final at Wembley

Dumitru Palanchuk
Dumitru Palanchuk
17 May 2024, 17:45

The League One playoff final between Bolton Wanderers and Oxford United at Wembley Stadium promises to be an interesting match with both sides will do their best to have the desired promotion. A spot in the Championship awaits the winner, while the loser faces another season in the third tier. Bolton finished third in the regular season, narrowly missing out on automatic promotion, while Oxford secured fifth place to book their playoff spot. Bolton scored 86 goals in the league campaign, while Oxford found the net 79 times; thus a high-scoring affair could be expected at Wembley. 

Bolton Wanderers vs Oxford United Victory Preview 

Bolton Wanderers Preview

Bolton survived a nervy playoff semi-final against Barnsley, winning 5-4 on aggregate despite a 3-2 second leg defeat at home. Their form has been patchy since the turn of the year, with just eight wins in 21 games, though they remain almost unbeaten in their matches against Oxford, losing only two of them. Ian Evatt will have a near full-strength squad to choose from, with only defender George Johnston ruled out through injury. Bolton will look to their prolific attack, led by the likes of Dion Charles (14 goals) and Aaron Collins (11 goals), to fire them to promotion. Their 5-0 thumping of Oxford in March will give them a morale boost, though they must be afraid of being overly confident.

Oxford United Preview 

Oxford booked their Wembley date with a 2-1 aggregate win over Peterborough in the semi-finals, with Cameron Brannagan's penalty proving crucial. After a poor start to 2024, the U's found form at the right time, winning seven of their last 12 games to snatch a playoff spot. Manager Des Buckingham will hope striker Mark Harris, with 15 goals this season, can continue his scoring form, supported by the creative Brannagan who has 13 goals and 10 assists. Oxford were heavily beaten 5-0 by Bolton in March but have already overcome that scoreline once before in a playoff final against Shrewsbury in 2008/09. Overall, Oxford have won 2, drawn 2 and lost 5 against Bolton in their League One head-to-head history.

Betting Tips for Bolton Wanderers vs Oxford United

Bolton Wanderers to Win

Bolton naturally comes as favourite of the upcoming finale, given that the team's latest win over Oxford was quite confident. In general, Bolton lost only two matches against Oxford in their history of head-to-head matches, with 5 wins and 2 draws. With only five points away from the direct promotion, Bolton is eager to claim their spot in the Championship for the next season, as the club’s board is eager to return to the Premier League during the next 4-5 years. For this Bolton Wanderers vs Oxford United prediction, Unibet gives 1.90.

Total Yellow Cards Under 4.5

Both teams show quite a disciplined display in recent matches and in their head-to-head games. In the case of Bolton, less than 5 cards were recorded in the last 5 out of 6 meetings, while Oxford had the same statistics in the last 7 out of 8 matches. Head-to-head games are also quite disciplined, with even in the recent match, when Bolton trashed its opponent (5-0), also 3 yellow cards were shown. In general, 7 out 9 matches between the two saw less than 5 yellow cards, and it is highly likely that we will have the same disciplined display at Wembley. Bolton Wanderers vs Oxford United odds for this outcome, as defined by Unibet, are 1.50.

Total Goals Over 2.5 

In this match, one of the highest scoring teams of this League One season will meet. Bolton scored 86 goals in the championship, while Oxford netted 79 goals. Bolton clearly expressed its emphasis on attacking and open football in the semifinals against Barnsley (1-3, 2-3), while Oxford, despite scoring twice in two semifinal matches, had plenty of moments, which were not realised. For this Bolton Wanderers vs Oxford United tip, Unibet gives 1.87.

Remember to gamble responsibly. Tips provided serve only as a recommendation, not as a call to action. Always rely on your own judgement.