Wanderers are a bolt-on bet

  • By: Craig Chisnall
  • Last Updated: March 14 2014, 6:58 GMT

Craig Chisnall previews this weekend's action in the Sky Bet Football League and rates Bolton a fine bet at 6/4.

Bolton: Worth backing to secure another home win
Bolton: Worth backing to secure another home win

How Dougie Freedman and Bolton's fans must be wishing their recent revival had come a month or two earlier.

Up until the last couple of weeks Wanderers had endured a woeful season and were dicing with the drop.

Despite a squad packed full of talent they were making a mockery of me picking them out as the Sky Bet Championship winners way back in August.

I wasn't on my own in that by any stretch but such was their dire form Freedman's future looked less than rosy as the Reebok faithful turned on their boss.

But the board have stuck with their man and the signs in recent weeks have shown what might have been.

Watford and Blackburn were seen off at home 2-0 and 4-0 respectively before Bolton walloped Leeds 5-1 at Elland Road last Saturday.

The midweek 0-0 draw at high-flying Derby was also an excellent result and play-off hopefuls Brighton will face a much sterner test this weekend than they would have had a month ago.

The Seagulls are hardly entertainers on the road having scored just 12 and conceded the same amount.

And with the Trotters full of confidence I expect them to edge past Albion. They are available at 6/4 generally to do that.

Stevenage were in even greater need of an improvement when they sat bottom of League 1 and nine points from safety on February 22 so it's great testament to Graham Westley and his players they are now out of the drop zone.

Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Westley's former employers Preston, secured by Jimmy Smith's last-gasp equaliser, was an excellent result and they have another huge game this weekend.

Boro, with winger Luke Freeman inspirational of late, make the long trip north to Carlisle, who have been sucked back into trouble on the back of seven defeats in their last 11.

The latest of those came against Sheffield United on Wednesday night and this Brunton Park clash could well be crucial in deciding who stays up.

Westley's Boro teams of the past always finished strongly in the second half of a campaign and their recent run points to history repeating itself.

With that in mind I'm going with Stevenage to scrap to another crucial win at 2/1.

I'm going back for more from York again at home to Wycombe after our success with them on the road at Mansfield on Tuesday.

The Minstermen were a whopping 15/8 at Field Mill despite being unbeaten in six and duly obliged with a gritty 1-0 win.

That was their third successive win, all secured without conceding a goal, and they are now just two points off the play-offs.

Former Northern Ireland and Norwich manager Nigel Worthington has done a fine job since guiding them to safety last season and their watertight backline has been the bedrock of their success.

They've conceded just 38 goals all season with five clean sheets in their last seven outings.

The Chairboys have improved themselves as well recently after a worrying slide towards the bottom two but were beaten on Tuesday by Plymouth at home.

I can't see Gareth Ainsworth's men stopping City's charge so take York at 11/10 across the board.


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