Bolton Wanderers’ return to life in the Championship could not have started any worse after they suffered defeat on the opening day of the new campaign at the hands of their greatest rivals, Burnley.
Manager Owen Coyle has told his team they need a ‘big positive reaction’ when Derby County visit the Reebok Stadium on Tuesday night to avoid an early-season slump that could hamper their promotion ambitions.
The 2-0 defeat at Turf Moor doesn’t appear to have affected the pre-match odds in bwin’s 3-way football market, as Bolton are still 13/20 favourites, with the draw 27/10 and Derby priced at 4/1.
Fans of the Trotters may be surprised to see their side so heavily fancied given that on their way to relegation from the Premier League last season, Bolton managed a measly four wins at home – two less than they achieved on their travels.
Perhaps the reason for the odds being so heavily stacked in the home side’s favour is that Bolton are 7/1 second-favourites for the title and Derby are rank outsiders at 50/1, despite their mid-table finish last time around.
While Bolton were suffering at Turf Moor, the Rams were sending their fans on a rollercoaster ride against Championship new boys Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend.
Despite working hard for an early 2-0 lead, County were pegged back by Wednesday, with Reda Johnson’s equaliser cruelly coming in injury-time at the end of the game.
This result came days after the Rams threw away a 3-0 advantage over League One Scunthorpe in the Capital One Cup before eventually drawing 5-5 and losing on penalties.
Judging by their opening two results, Derby tend to burst out of the blocks, but struggle to retain that momentum for the full 90 minutes. With this in mind, 25/1 on Derby leading at the break but Bolton to go on to claim the three points must be a tempting long shot.
Also worthy of interest is the match being drawn after Derby lead at half-time, with the 29/2 offered on this scenario potentially returning £310 for new customers backing it with their free £20 bet upon registering.
County manager Nigel Clough will be hoping that his side can clean up their act at the back after leaking those seven goals, but with both defences clearly vulnerable, a bet on both sides scoring at 3/4 looks like a sure fire winner and that is the way I’ll be playing this one.
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