Bolton’s last outing might have seen them beat Aston Villa but their league form suggests they are the perfect opponents for an Arsenal side looking to kick-start their campaign after an equally shaky start to the season.
Following an opening day win over QPR at Loftus Road, Bolton have crashed to defeat in their four subsequent league fixtures, including a 2-1 reverse against Norwich last weekend.
And despite perceptions that Arsenal traditionally struggle against the Trotters because of the supposed physical nature of their play, Arsene Wenger’s side have an extremely good record against their opponents at the Emirates on Saturday.
As such, Arsenal are heavy favourites to pick up only their second league win of the season with odds of 21/50 in bwin’s 3Way football betting market.
Meanwhile, a win for Bolton is priced at 13/2 and a draw at 13/4.
Nine of the last ten meetings between Arsenal and Bolton have ended in wins for the Gunners, with the only exception being last April’s game at the Reebok, when a late Tamir Cohen strike resulted clinched a 2-1 for the home side.
With five straight wins against Bolton on home territory, Wenger will be confident his team can bounce back from a 4-3 defeat to Blackburn in their last league outing.
But while Arsenal’s erratic form so far this season means the final result is not as certain as the 3Way prices suggest, one thing punters can rely on is plenty of goals.
All five of Bolton’s league games this season have featured three goals or more, while there has been an average of four goals in league matches featuring Arsenal in the 2011/12 campaign.
This is reflected by odds of 3/5 on there being at least three goals in Saturday’s encounter, although those looking for more value could combine a bet on the number of goals with the outcome in bwin’s 1X2 Result and Over/Under 2.5 market.
At evens, a successful £25 free bet on Arsenal to build on their excellent home record against Bolton and take all three points in a game with at least three goals would return £50.
The free bet is available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account.
Meanwhile, those looking to more than double their money could consider odds of 21/10 on Bolton scoring more goals in the second half than the first.
This bet could just pay off given Arsenal’s poor defensive record in the second half and Bolton’s increased tendency to score after the interval.
The Gunners have shipped more than 70 per cent of their league goals in the second period this season, while Bolton have scored 75 per cent of their goals after the break.
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