Championship betting preview: Put your trust in Trotters


Owen Coyle might beg to differ, but the September international break came at
just the right time for his stuttering Bolton side and we're backing them to
bounce back from a couple of poor results with a routine win over Watford at
the Reebok on Saturday.

Two weeks is a long time for a manager to stew on mounting speculation about his position, but it's also ample time to regroup and reflect on the shortcomings that led to surprise defeats at Crawley and Hull.

Wanderers surrendered leads in both of those matches but their collapse at the KC Stadium could be a watershed that awakens them to the perils of complacency and we expect them to underline the many different factors that make them a highly attractive proposition at 10/11 against the Hornets.

For starters, there's the contrasting levels of continuity in the opposing dressing rooms. Bolton boast eight ever-presents and a further three players who have featured in all four matches, whereas Watford have already called upon 20 different players in their four league outings.

It's unclear what life is going to be like under the Pozzo family for the Hertfordshire club but it's fair to assume that any benefits will be long-term rather than short-term and Zola has his work cut out trying to make sense of a squad that currently consists of 39 players.

The Italian has had a dozen new faces thrust upon him from Udinese and Granada (which begs the question: how good these players are if they're deemed surplus to current requirements at those clubs?) and he must now make adjustments without the steadying influence that was provided skipper Martin Taylor.

Worryingly, the Hornets shipped five goals at Derby in their first game after Taylor's deadline-day departure to Sheffield Wednesday and now former striker Marvin Sordell could pose a much more menacing threat without the experienced 32-year-old to keep him in check.

We should also observe a fairly solid start for the Trotters on home soil. Coyle's men have registered over 20 shots in both of their previous outings against Derby and Nottingham Forest, hitting four goals from 17 on target, so we should rest assured that any lack of understanding in the visiting rearguard will be put to the test.

So long as Bolton tighten up their act at the back, then this ought to be a straightforward exercise for a team that belongs in the automatic promotion hunt against visitors that should be setting their heights no higher than mid-table. And we trust that this is how Coyle has put the past fortnight to good use.

Recommended bet:

3pts Bolton to beat Watford at 10/11 (Bet365)

Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk