Oxford v Bolton - Tuesday 19:45, Sky Sports 1

Phil Parkinson is calling on his Bolton players to be ruthless when they play their game in hand on third-placed Fleetwood. The Trotters came from a goal down to beat Northampton in the final 15 minutes at the weekend, leapfrogging the Cod Army in the process, to occupy an automatic promotion berth for the first time since FA Cup third round weekend.

Now they can stretch their lead over Uwe Rosler’s men to four points with victory at the Kassam, which is a big incentive in comparison to the overall complexion should this game finish all-square. It’s not a freebie by any stretch of the imagination but the opening 45 minutes represent a window of opportunity for Wanderers and that’s often when they do their best work.

Bolton have been ahead at the interval 18 times this term, accounting for 15 of their 20 victories, while 22 of their 31 first-half goals have been scored inside the opening 20 minutes, which goes a long way towards telling you the record is no accident. Stick a point on Bolton to win the first half at 13/5 and back it up with a bet on Bolton 2-0 half time score at 18/1.

Oxford, by contrast, tend to do most of their best work late on. Only seven times in their 37 matches have the Yellows taken a lead into the break and only Port Vale have scored fewer first-half goals on home soil than Michael Appleton’s men. If the hosts get a foothold, they will fancy their chances. But Parkinson knows that and he’s not in the mood to encourage them.

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Bolton to win the first half - 1pt @ 13/5
Bolton 2-0 half time score - 1pt @ 18/1