Nottingham Forest are one of three sides yet to drop points two games into the Championship season, but that looks set to change with the visit of fellow promotion contenders Bolton Wanderers, with shared spoils the most likely result at the City Ground.
Many a shrewd judge had Dougie Freedman’s Bolton down for promotion before the start of the campaign and despite failing to register a win thus far little sheen has been removed from that glittering potential horizon.
Draws in the ever-tasty Lancashire derby against Burnley and when hosting title contenders Reading were both reasonable results and after the latter Freedman – who did much to steer Crystal Palace into a promotion position last term – oozed confidence in his squad, stating “we lost the opening game last season, but that was never going to happen with this new group”.
The Tricky Trees may have won both their league outings so far, but both successes have come by the narrowest of margins, with their most recent 1-0 win coming courtesy of a goalkeeping boo-boo from Blackburn Rovers custodian Jake Kean.
Their previous victory had come over 2012/13 relegation battlers Huddersfield, who had lost the goals of Jermaine Beckford to Wanderers this summer.
Such fine margins between success and failure suggest this one could be tighter than the proverbial gnat’s chuff and a draw – which would’ve lined pockets in both renewals of the fixture last term – looks the bet at 11/5.
Both 2012/13 deadlocks saw sheets sullied at both ends and it’s 4/5 that both sides make a chalk mark on the scoreboard here.
Last season’s equivalent of this fixture ended 1-1 and given the adversaries respective starts to the Championship season, it appeals once more from a correct score market perspective, where it is the 5/1 favourite.
Both Forest and the Whites have yet to summon more than a single goal in league action during the as-yet callow campaign and Freedman’s men have registered two such results in as many matches.