Bolton boss Owen Coyle will be hoping that a winning run in the FA Cup will have a positive impact on his side’s league form given the Trotters’ precarious position in the Premier League table.
Although Wanderers go into their FA Cup third round tie buoyed by a vital midweek league victory over Everton at Goodison Park, they were bottom at Christmas and are still a point away from safety after their success against the Toffees.
Last season, Bolton fell apart after being dumped out of the FA Cup at the semi-final stage by Stoke, losing five of their last six league games and finishing in 14th position having been pushing for a place in the top half.
An exit at the hands of Macclesfield on Saturday followed by a similar run of form would almost certainly cost Coyle his job and, perhaps mindful of this, it appears the Scot will once again attempt to use the FA Cup as a springboard for a successful 2012.
Odds of 7/10 on a Bolton win on Saturday look decent considering the Premier League outfit are up against a League Two side who have won just one of their last nine matches in the divisio
In a demonstration of his commitment to the competition, the Bolton boss says he is preparing to play Gary Cahill in central defence against League Two side Macclesfield should Chelsea fail to complete his capture before the 3.00pm kick-off at Moss Rose Stadium.
After a dismal opening to the season, Wanderers appear to have turned the corner after picking up two wins and a draw from their last four games.
And as they are not taking the tie lightly, they look capable of stepping over the first hurdle in their latest FA Cup journey without too much trouble.
Given this, odds of 7/10 on a Bolton win on Saturday look decent considering the Premier League outfit are up against a League Two side who have won just one of their last nine matches in the division.
Indeed, given Macclesfield have failed to score in four of their last six fixtures and that only five teams have scored fewer goals at home in League Two than the Silkmen this season, odds of 37/20 on a Bolton win to nil also look generous at 37/20.
A successful £25 free bet on Bolton to beat Macclesfield to nil is set to return £71.25, with the free bet available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account.
Of course, a win to nil for Bolton would still be something of a surprise – even allowing for Macclesfield’s recent lack of success in front of goal – as the Trotters have only kept three clean sheets all season.
But they looked solid defensively against Everton and only conceded through a freak goal from Toffees goalkeeper Tim Howard.
This suggests that they should be able to cope with a Macclesfield attack which failed to find the back of the net against Accrington Stanley on Monday.
One final factor to consider is that the two teams have already met this season.
Bolton hosted the Silkmen at the Reebok in the Carling Cup second round and prevailed 2-1 thanks to second half strikes from Tuncay and Martin Petrov.
Another win for the Trotters with fewer than four goals is priced at 29/20, with this bet providing room for a Macclesfield goal even if the odds are not as attractive as a Bolton win to nil.
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