A challenging season for Bolton Wanderers all boils down to a final-day trip to Stoke City and the equation is simple: fail to win and they will be relegated from the Premier League.
The Trotters currently occupy the final relegation place but will be buoyed by the fact that QPR, who sit two points above them, face the worst possible concluding fixture away at title-chasing Manchester City.
Bolton boss Owen Coyle will be telling his players that a win at the Britannia Stadium will probably see them survive and considering the Potters’ form, that is certainly not out of the question..
Stoke have only won one of their last 11 Premier League matches – a 2-1 home win against rock-bottom Wolves – and that is the only time in those games they have managed to score more than one goal.
The chances are that Bolton talisman Kevin Davies will get the nod to combat Stoke’s aerial dominance at the back, so he has to be considered as their main hope of grabbing a goal.
Davies scored twice in Bolton’s last away game – a 2-2 draw at Sunderland – and is 7/1 to score first and 2/1 to score at any time during the 90 minutes in the Potteries.
Martin Petrov is the other man who has been carrying the fight for Wanderers in recent weeks, providing several assists to complement the two penalties he has notched.
With Stoke not exactly renowned for being shrinking violets in the tackle, there is a fair chance the visitors could be awarded another spot-kick – so the Bulgarian winger is worth a look at 11/4 to score at any time.
Petrov, who is a 10/1 chance to break the deadlock, will also fancy his chances of netting from a free-kick against occasionally erratic Stoke keeper Thomas Sorensen, but beyond him and Davies it is difficult to see where Bolton’s goals will come from.
Chris Eagles and Mark Davies have scored four and three goals respectively this season, while Bolton’s top scorer, Ivan Klasnic with eight, is out of favour and has failed to score in ten matches, while also managing just one in his last 19 league games.
As for Stoke, when they do score, it is often Peter Crouch who supplies the goods. He has ten goals in the Premier League this season so far and is 11/2 to score first here or 3/2 to notch at any time.
Strike partner Jon Walters is without a league goal since New Year’s Eve but with spot-kick duties in the bag, a small play on him to hit the back of the net at some stage at 9/5 could prove a decent move.
As always with Stoke, the aerial bombardment of the opposition’s penalty area will be taking place, so it is worth considering one of their central defenders to get a goal. Robert Huth is a 4/1 chance to score at any time, with Ryan Shawcross at 6/1.
But with Bolton knowing they have to go all-out for the win, for our main tip, we will be putting our faith in Davies to play his part.
Backing the big man to score at any time in the match would return a cool £75 for anyone using their free £25 bet for joining bwin.com.
Recommended bet: Kevin Davies to score at any time @ 2/1
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