CITY travel to the north west on Tuesday night to face a team with aspirations of climbing into the Championship via the play-offs, writes Cam Westy
In-form Bolton Wanderers’ intentions were made clear by their signing of international star Jon Bodvarsson during the January transfer window. And their faith in the recruitment of Icelandic Bodvarsson was soon repaid by his contribution to the 4-0 success over struggling AFC Wimbledon on Saturday. Bodvarsson headed home the opening goal in the Trotters’ win. His 36th-minute strike was added to by second-half goals from top scorer Dapo Afolayan, Dion Charles and substitute Amadou Bakayoko.
Wanderers are being tipped as outsiders for a play-off place after a recent improvement in results, which has seen them go unbeaten in eight of their last nine. The only blemish in the month of February was a 3-1 defeat at Burton Albion. In January their results included the 6-0 demolition of high-flying Sunderland.
So the Imps can expect a tough test when they face Ian Evatt’s men at the University of Bolton Stadium. The last time the two sides met in August of last year Bolton left the LNER Stadium with the spoils, secured by a solitary Antoni Sarcevic strike. Imps manager Michael Appleton will no doubt be looking to avenge that defeat when the Imps travel to Bolton on Tuesday.
The club has been allocated 660 tickets for the Bolton game and the City boss will be hoping that a good turnout will help his charges bring home the points.
City have more time to get their injured players back into the side after their trip to relegation rivals Fleetwood was postponed because of snow. Although left kicking their heels, Lincoln will be happy to see that none of the bottom sides were able to make any ground on them. This leaves the Imps nine points clear of the drop zone, having played fewer games than most of the teams below them in the league table. They are just 13 points behind Bolton, having played two fewer games.
High on Michael Appleton’s priority list will be a desire to kill teams off when the Imps have the ascendency. Last week’s 1-0 home defeat to Doncaster Rovers was a perfect example of how points have slipped through their fingers this season when City have been in the driving seat.
Indeed the winner scored from the penalty spot was the only shot on target that the Yorkshiremen had managed all game, but we all know that Doncaster have become a bit of a jinx in recent years. Despite dominating possession against Rovers on most occasions, the results have not gone to plan, including a 0-0 scoreline at the Keepmoat Stadium earlier this season.
The red card issued to defender Joe Walsh late in the game was also not helpful as the Imps prepare for their fight against relegation. Walsh has been a big boost to the Lincoln defence in recent games, but his suspension will no doubt hamper their efforts to stay clear of the drop zone.