Bolton vs Sheffield United by Luke
Bolton is really going nowhere with their form, coming now from third straight defeat in Championship. Only bright moments for now in the season came in Carabao Cup competition, when the side managed to get victories over Crewe and Sheffield Wednesday, while it seems obvious now that the team will have hard time avoiding the relegation battle this season in the end.
It was their second game in a run that the team didn't manage to score a goal, as they come from a 0:3 defeat in front of own fans against Middlesbrough, side that is known to play a bit weaker on the road. Quality difference was obvious in this one, with the visiting side having much more of the ball possession, while even though the hosts did have some decent chances, they couldn't convert anything into goal. Guests scored a deserved three pointer with two goals from Assombalonga (each in every halftime), plus third goal from Johnson towards the end. Players of Bolton are now at the rock bottom position with just two points earned, but still in a decent position since they are just two points below the safe zone.
Hosts should be playing in 4-1-4-1 formation with Madina as lone striker, plus Morais, Pratley, Karacan and Noone as offensive midfielders. Midfielder Josh Vela (1/0) probably misses out due ankle problem, while offensive midfielder Sammy Ameobi surely misses out with a knee injury and without performing so far in the season.
Sheffield United, on the other side, is in completely opposite momentum now, as the team comes from their third straigth victory in Championship, this time going from a very difficult visit on the road against Sunderland and taking precious three pointer in a 1:2 victory. Players of Sunderland had more of the ball possession, but the guests looked as much more mature and experienced side, always knowing what they wanted with the ball and being very dangerous in every situation when they had the ball.
Donaldson brought them into the lead in 21st minute, while they could have scored once more at least in the first halftime, but the same player assured their 2:0 lead in 77th, while all the hosts did was to reduce the deficit in third minute of additional time when everything was decided, via Rodwell. After this three pointer, the team now stands inside the play-off zone with twelve points, just two less than direct promotion placed Leeds and surely wants to continue the momentum no matter what.
Guests will continue in kind of a 3-5-2 formation with Donaldson and Sharp as forwards. Forward Leon Clarke (4/0) remains suspended, while injured are defender Richard Stearman (3/0) and forwards Caolan Lavery (2/0) and Ched Evans (5/0) most likely. Goalkeeper Simon Moore is long term absentee since the preparation period.
- Bolton have seen under 2.5 goals in 5 of their last 6 matches against Sheff Utd.
Even though Bolton is just two points below the safe zone, that's no consolidation for the side that plays so poor at the start of the season. They seem to be going nowhere in their form and I see them having really hard time when facing much more in-form Sheffield United, side that surely has better individual quality as well. Value is with the players of Sheffield and the odds are making it just more attractive with this handicap line, even if they'll play with couple of absent players.