Bolton travel to out-of-form Sunderland on Saturday on the back of their impressive away win at Villa Park, still hoping they have time to save their bacon after a disastrous season.
Fortunately, they visit a Mackems side suffering from a clear case of end-of- season blues, having not won any of their last six games.
Worst of all, though, is the Black Cats’ lack of attacking options, with even the Danish media getting involved this week in the Nicklas Bendtner case, pondering whether the Dane is good enough to deserve a permanent contract with Martin O’Neill’s outfit.
Then again the on-loan Arsenal striker – who has netted seven goals after all – is only part of the problem, with O’Neill frequently being forced to play Stephane Sessegnon on his own up front, almost as if his mere speed and agility were enough to make up for the lack of a decent striker.
No surprise, then, to find the Mackems goalless in four games – three of them at home, all 0-0 draws. At 18/5, then, it’s hardly a ridiculous idea to back Sunderland to make it five blanks in five and for Bolton to secure what, for them, would be an unlikely clean sheet.
Fortunately for Bolton, they visit a Mackems side suffering from a clear case of end-of- season blues, having not won any of their last six games.
That said, Bolton’s defence has improved of late, so maybe it’s not so crazy an idea after all, and backing them to reach half time with the score 0-0 (as they did against a far more incisive Newcastle United side at St James’ Park) is another play to consider at 2/1.
With three out of Sunderland’s last four games ending 0-0, 33/4 on a similar result is not out of the question either but in any case the evidence suggests we hardly look to be heading for a goal fest.
This points towards a draw – available at 23/10 in bwin’s 3Way football betting market – as both sides cancel each other out.
Ultimately, though, with Wanderers desperate for a result, they could also be worth betting on to win this one at 29/10.
In a game likely to see four goals or less, Bolton are priced at decent odds to come away with all three points in a game with fewer than 3.5 goals at 4/1.
Alternatively, you could take advantage of odds of 19/4 on Bolton winning by a single goal by betting on a draw in the handicap market where Sunderland are given a one-goal head-start.
Recommended bet: Bolton to win a game with less than four combined goals @ 4/1
Outside bet: The game to end 0-0 @ 33/4
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