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Bolton vs Stoke City Predictions

  • 15:00
  • Expired
  • Macron Stadium
    Stoke City

      odds when tipped

      odds when tipped

      Tip Reasoning

      This Saturday’s game features two sides that endured contrasting fortunes on Boxing Day. Bolton had been in poor form but managed to win while Stoke had been going along very nicely but slipped to defeat on the road. They will be determined to make amends here as they head to the Macron.

      Stoke’s chances of automatic promotion were always going to be slim given how long it took them to adjust to life back in the second tier. However they were mounting a really strong charge towards the play-offs before defeat at fellow top six hopefuls Birmingham. It wasn’t the result Gary Rowett would have hoped for on his return to his former club but Stoke have lost just twice in 15 Championship games overall with both defeats curiously coming against the side from the Second City.

      It’s just 2 wins in 20 games for Bolton but they did at least end a long winless streak by seeing off Rotherham in a real six-pointer at the Macron. Veteran Gary O’Neil netted the winner but Bolton fans will know they will be in for a much sterner test here against a Stoke side that will be hungry to bounce back.

      A relatively low-scoring game looks likely. Bolton have been pretty cautious when they’ve come up against the stronger sides at home. They pushed leaders Leeds hard, going down only 1-0 earlier this month and 3 of their last 5 home Championship matches have seen them on the wrong end of 1-0 scorelines. Their average of just 0.67 goals scored per home game in the league is also pretty dire and they remain the division’s lowest overall scorers.

      Stoke therefore shouldn’t be tested too severely at the back and with players of the quality of Tom Ince at the other end, they should have enough to find a breakthrough. They also have Darren Fletcher and Benik Afobe to bring in from the side that lost at St Andrews and having players of that level in reserve is a luxury that few managers in this division can count upon during this busy festive period.

      Backing Stoke & Under 2.5 Goals could be worth a flutter here. Overall they just have much more all-round quality than a Bolton side that has lost 7 of their last 10 at home in the league, with 4 of those defeats coming by 1-0 margins.

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