Bolton vs Oxford Utd: Preview, predictions and lineups

A spot in the Championship is at stake when Bolton take on Oxford United in Saturday’s League One play-off final.

Having finished third in the table, Bolton were the favourites to earn promotion to the second tier ahead of the semi-finals but were handed a late scare by Barnsley in the second leg of their tie. Ian Evatt’s side eventually held off Barnsley’s resurgence to earn a spot at Wembley.

While Bolton are aiming to return to the Championship for the first time since 2019, Oxford Utd are vying for the first second-tier berth in their history.

Oxford rode their luck somewhat in the semi-finals against Peterborough having finished the League One season in fifth, seven points adrift of the Posh. The U’s require a vastly improved performance from their previous meeting with Bolton if they are to secure a historic result on Saturday.

Oxford were beaten 5-0 at the Toughsheet Community Stadium in March.

Here’s 90min’s preview of the 2024 League One play-off final.

Bolton vs Oxford Utd H2H Record (Last Five Games)

Current form (all competitions)


Oxford Utd

Bolton 2-3 Barnsley – 07/05/24

Peterborough 1-1 Oxford Utd – 08/05/24

Barnsley 1-3 Bolton – 03/05/24

Oxford Utd 1-0 Peterborough – 04/05/24

Peterborough 3-3 Bolton – 27/04/24

Exeter City 1-2 Oxford Utd – 27/04/24

Bolton 2-0 Port Vale – 20/04/24

Oxford Utd 1-1 Stevenage – 19/04/24

Bolton 2-2 Shrewsbury – 16/04/24

Oxford Utd 0-1 Lincoln City – 16/04/24


TV channel/live stream

United Kingdom

Sky Ultra HD, Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports Main Event, SKY GO Extra

United States




There are unlikely to be any changes to the Bolton team that progressed past Barnsley in the semi-finals.

Carlos Gomes, Jon Bodvarsson, Caleb Taylor and Daniel Nlundulu all miss out due to injury.

Bolton predicted lineup vs Oxford Utd (3-5-2): Baxter; Jones, Santos, Toal; Dacres-Cogley, Maghoma, Sheehan, Thomason, Williams; Charles, Collins.

There are doubts over the statuses of Joe Bennett and Tyler Goodrham, both of whom were forced off with injuries against Peterborough last week.

However, the two players are expected to be fit for Saturday’s final.

Oxford Utd predicted lineup vs Bolton (4-1-4-1): Cumming; Stevens, Moore, Brown, Bennett; Brannagan; Dale, Goodrham, Rodrigues, Murphy; Harris.

This is unfamiliar territory for Oxford, who are playing in just their second play-off final ever. Bolton, meanwhile, haven’t featured in such a fixture since 2001.

Despite their second-leg defeat to Barnsley in the semis, Bolton are favoured to triumph at Wembley and understandably so. They finished seven points clear of Oxford in the League One table having battered them 5-0 in their most recent head-to-head duel.

Play-off finals are typically cagey and Bolton are unlikely to blow Oxford away, but it’d be a surprise if Evatt’s side didn’t earn promotion to the Championship.

Prediction: Bolton 2-0 Oxford Utd


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