Live on Skysports 1: Sun 16.00: Bolton will be very keen to put the disastrous FA Cup semi behind them and look to push Arsenal.
A run of five draws in six matches, culminating in Wednesday’s scintillating 3-3 stalemate against rivals Spurs, have effectively put paid to Arsenal’s title hopes barring an unlikely Manchester United meltdown and the Gunners face a tough test to keep their faint hopes alive this afternoon, as they travel to Bolton.
The old adage ‘beware a wounded animal’ could apply at the Reebok Stadium following the Trotters 5-0 Wembley humiliation at the hands of Stoke last Sunday and Owen Coyle will be demanding a response from his shell-shocked side, who are as high as 17/4 with bet365 to overcome Arsene Wenger’s men.
Arsenal are odds-on at 1.8 (4/5) with Betdaq to land a three-point haul and 14/5 (William Hill) to only manage another frustrating share of the spoils but as they have looked defensively vulnerable on the road of late, the hosts are undoubtedly in with a shout.
They’re 21/20 courtesy of Betfred to come out on top when benefitting from a goal start in the handicaps and 5/2 in ‘Draw No Bet’ market but braver punters might fancy a flutter on a success for the Trotters, who are 11/2 with Paddy Power to bounce back impressively from their FA Cup semi-final disaster and prevail by a one-goal margin.
The Gunners have given away a lead in their last two matches, those draws against Tottenham and Liverpool, while they also came close to letting Blackpool back into the game at Bloomfield Road a fortnight ago.
William Hill’s 11/2 for Coyle’s troops to avoid defeat despite falling behind isn’t without appeal then and the ambitious can tackle Coral’s 11/1 for Arsenal to lead at the break but fail to win. Along similar lines is Stan James’ chunky 18/1 for the Trotters to win from behind and in a clash that should see both teams find the net (4/6, Partybets), it’s 16/1 with Totesport for a 2-1 home victory.
Finally, having been cup-tied last weekend, Daniel Sturridge will be champing at the bit for Bolton and he’s 13/2 in Sportingbet’s first scorer betting, although as his team could fall behind, Coral’s 9/4 for the loan striker to notch at any stage is more tempting.