Bolton to struggle in Lions' den

  • By: Craig Chisnall
  • Last Updated: February 15 2014, 14:24 GMT

Craig Chisnall previews this weekend's action in the Sky Bet Football League and fancies Millwall to beat Bolton.

Millwall can celebrate a vital win over Bolton
Millwall can celebrate a vital win over Bolton

At the start of the season I did not envisage Bolton's trip to Millwall being a huge game in the survival scrap - but that's exactly what it will be and I expect the Lions to come out on top.

Given the talent they have in their squad Wanderers' season has been nothing short of a disaster with the defeat to Burnley on Tuesday their 13th of the campaign.

It was their fourth in five and Dougie Freedman's men are now winless in eight - their last three points coming with the 1-0 success at Barnsley on Boxing Day.

That dire run means they have slipped to 19th and are now just five points off the bottom three with the pressure growing by the week on the former Crystal Palace boss.

And they won't get anything easy at the New Den with Millwall deep in trouble themselves - they are two points worse off than Wanderers.

They have won just one of Ian Holloway's six games in charge but played well in spells at Burnley last Saturday in a 3-1 defeat before claiming a crucial point at fellow strugglers Yeovil in midweek.

Holloway started that game with four strikers on the pitch as new-boy Simeon Jackson was joined by Steve Morison, DJ Campbell and Scott McDonald in a bold approach.

A home win would move the Lions above Bolton and at 17/10 with BetVictor they look good value to do that.

In League 1 I'm going with Coventry and Preston to see off out-of-form duo Bradford and Leyton Orient.

The Sky Blues would be just a point off the top six had they not had been deducted 10 points at the start of the season but they still haven't given up hope of making the top six.

They could have done without losing two of their last three matches, all on the road, but boss Steven Pressley continues to do a fine job given their off-field problems.

They've gone well at their temporary home at Northampton and have the quality to inflict more misery on a struggling Bradford side. The Bantams 1-0 defeat at Carlisle in midweek made it 13 games without a win and they've won just three away games this season.

I'd take the Sky Blues and double them up with Preston, who are 5/4 across the board to beat Orient.

North End have saved their best form for their travels but have won five of their last eight and will see this as their big chance to gain ground on the top three.

Simon Grayson has put together a strong-looking squad with the recent addition of striker Craig Davies a real eye-catcher from Bolton.

And they could be playing Orient at just the right time. Russell Slade's side have long been tipped to fall off the promotion pace but hadn't until the start of February.

In the last 12 days the O's have lost three on the spin to Rotherham, Peterborough and Bristol City so a trip to in-form Preston is the last thing they need.

In League 2 I like the look of the 6/4 offered by BetVictor and Boylesports on Hartlepool to see off Newport County.

After a woeful start to 2014, Pools have improved of late with two wins in four and three cleans sheets in that same period.

Their only defeat in that time was a 2-1 reverse at AFC Wimbledon, a match they should never have lost, and they've held high-flying Scunthorpe as well as beating York and Dagenham.

Marlon Harewood's arrival up front has given their young squad some much needed experience with recent Middlesbrough loan addition Luke Williams also adding quality.

Next up are Newport, who must be wondering what it's like to kick a ball in anger - they've yet to play a game in February after Tuesday's clash with Wimbledon fell victim to the weather.

They aren't the best of travellers though with just three wins away from south Wales and that makes Pools more than attractive.

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