Sunderland’s 4-0 win over Stoke on 18th September appears to be something of an anomaly when put into the context of the rest of their season to date, although a 2-2 draw with West Brom in their subsequent – and last – home match suggests their form at the Stadium of Light may yet have taken a turn for the better.
However, there is no disguising the fact that the Black Cats have been woeful on their travels both before and after the Stoke victory, with their 4-0 success over the Potters followed swiftly by a 2-1 defeat to Norwich at Carrow Road.
Their last away outing, meanwhile, ended in a 2-1 reverse at the Emirates against Arsenal.
As such, they do not appear to be particularly well equipped to extend Bolton’s misery at the Reebok Stadium when the two teams meet on Saturday.
Like Sunderland, Bolton have had a troubled start to the 2011-12 Premier League campaign, particularly at their own ground.
The Trotters have lost four games out of four at the Reebok, conceding 15 goals in the process and scoring just four.
That said, Bolton had their own ‘Stoke’ moment against Wigan at the DW Stadium as recently as last Saturday and they will be looking to build on this 3-1 win at the weekend.
With this in mind, they are the favourites going into the match in bwin’s 3Way football betting market at 11/10 for the win, with a draw at 9/4 and a Sunderland victory at 49/20.
Bolton should certainly take comfort from the fact that the Black Cats have only scored three goals in their four away matches, and with the Trotters having the joint fifth-best attack in the league alongside Arsenal they will fancy their chances of outscoring their opponents.
Whatever happens, there should be plenty of goals as all eight of Bolton’s matches this season have featured more than 2.5 goals – the only team in the league with this record.
Betting on there to be at least three goals in the match therefore looks like a banker at odds of 19/20.
And those who think Bolton can come out on top of a typically high-scoring game to record their first home win of the season can take advantage of odds of 12/5.
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