Bolton and Salford face each other for the first time ever in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Friday night. It’s set to be a fascinating encounter which could give us a clue as to which way these two sides, who are both at a crossroads, are set to go for the rest of this season.
We’ve got a sumptuous 22/1 Same Game Multi bet lined up, and with Paddy’s acca insurance that means if one of our four legs doesn’t land, your stake is returned (up to £/€10) as a free bet.
Bolton v Salford
Salford City’s trip to Bolton Wanderers on Friday puts the spotlight on the journeys of two clubs on very different trajectories. Just a few years ago, there were multiple divisions between these two and Bolton had recently played top-flight football. Now the tables have turned somewhat and Salford sit 10 positions above the Trotters in the fourth tier of English football.
Most Bolton fans could probably have been forgiven for not realising Salford City even existed the day before the Class of 92’s takeover in 2014. The Ammies were down in the old NPL Division One North, about to amble their way to a 12th-placed finish in the 8th step that season.
In March 2014, when Salford were catapulted into our consciousness, Bolton’s slide had started to snowball into something very serious. After just missing out on the playoffs in their first attempt of getting back in the Premier League the season before, 2013/14 saw them finish in 14th place before eventual relegation from The Championship two seasons later.
Friday 9.45pm: Bolton v Salford
Sky Sports Football
A couple of promotions and relegations followed before serious financial issues took hold and Bolton now find themselves at the wrong end of the League Two table following successive relegations.
Both teams spent big, relatively speaking, over the summer with some eye-catching signings that were expected to pull up trees at this level and lay the foundations for promotion charges, but it’s not gone to plan for either club so far. Bolton have been the surprise package for all the wrong reasons and many people’s pre-season title favourites are down in 20th with two wins, four draws and five losses leading to a haul of 10 points from 11 games.
The Ammies are 10th from 10 games that ended in four wins, four draws and two losses. That’s clearly not been good enough for the hierarchy at Moor Lane and they shocked many by giving former boss Graham Alexander the axe in the middle of October. Richie Wellens has come in and, clearly, nothing other than success is good enough for Salford.
It feels like they will be successful on Friday night, at the very least. Wellens has had a bit of time to prepare for league action with his side following their FA Cup win over Hartlepool on Saturday and EFL Trophy victory at Rochdale in the week. Bolton have shown faith in Ian Evatt up to now, but there’s only so long you can last with a win record just hovering above 10%.
Salford will be rejuvenated by the arrival of their new manager, but the sense of inevitability 15 miles up the road at the University of Bolton Stadium isn’t going to inspire anyone. City have a better cohesion than their opponents and, while Bolton’s two wins have come at home, The Ammies’ away record is decent and it’s hard to see them not improving that further with a Salford Win in this one.
It could be an entertaining game in front of the TV cameras on Friday night. Both sides are pretty unpredictable, or should that be unreliable, at the back with a mixed record over the last five games. Salford have scored seven across four of their last five league games while conceding four.
Bolton have scored six in their last five games, firing a blank just once, while shipping nine in those five with just the one clean sheet. It’s those clean sheets which are at a premium here and with decent attacking options on display for each side, Both Teams To Score feels like a good play here.
If we expect Salford to Win but Both Teams to Score, logic tells us that there’s going to be Over 2.5 Goals in this one. It’s landed in two of the hosts’ last five but there’s been two goals in two of the others and one in just one.
Salford have an identical record to Bolton in terms of Over 2.5 Goals in the last five. These teams like to get among the goals while being leaky at the back so Over 2.5 Goals has a good chance of landing on Friday night.
If Salford are to outscore Bolton, we’ve got plenty of options to choose from in terms of who’s going to be doing the damage. Ian Henderson made the early running in the League Two top goal scorer table with four goals in City’s first two games of the season, but he’s yet to find the target since.
So, we’ll be sticking with the man in form and that’s the ex-Manchester-United striker James Wilson who, while not cutting it at the very highest level, is far too good for this league. He has four in their last six League Two games, half of which came as the first goal of the game. Wilson To Score First is the perfect way to round off this acca-insured Same Game Multi and give it some really juicy value. If you’re not feeling so brave, Wilson to Score Anytime will offer up odds our around 7/1 in a SGM.
Tips for Bolton v Salford
These four selections in a Same Game Multi will give you odds of around 22/1 with Paddy Power.
Same Game Multi Acca insurance
If one leg of your 4+ fold Same Game Multi lets you down, you get up to £/€10 back as a free bet. Customers can qualify for 1 SGM Acca Insurance per day up to £/€10. The free bets will be credited by 12pm the following day.
Learn more about the Same Game Multi here.
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