BOLTON WANDERERS vs ARSENAL
SUNDAY – 4.00PM SKY SPORTS 1
OWEN Coyle couldn’t really ask for a more difficult first game in charge at the Reebok as Arsenal come to town hoping to close the gap on Chelsea and Manchester United. Bolton are currently in the relegation zone and the main reason for that is their terrible defensive record, having failed to keep a clean sheet all season.
Coyle’s former side Burnley have frustrated teams at Turf Moor this season and have only conceded nine goals in 10 games, so Wanderers fans will be hoping his defensive steeliness can rub off on the players. That doesn’t look especially likely, though, with just a week on the training ground and against a team that has scored eight goals more than any other outfit in the league.
It’s fair to say that Arsenal were disappointing against Everton last weekend, and were lucky to escape with a point, but they are unbeaten in seven Premier League games and Arsene Wenger will be looking to spoil the party on Sunday. His side have won all of the last five meetings against Bolton and generally their victories on the road are conclusive. In 14 away wins since the start of last season, 11 have been by at least two goals and they’ve won four of their last five trips to bottom six teams. Interestingly, all five of those games have produced a minimum of four goals.
Both of these sides have been involved in high-scoring games this season with seven of Bolton’s 10 at home seeing at least four goals and half of Arsenal’s 10 on the road producing the same. The Gunners have scored the most away goals in the league this campaign, but they’ve also conceded in nine of their 10 away games. There have been four or more goals in six of the Trotters’ last seven home matches, with the same being true in half of their last 14 at home against the Big Four.
There are strong indicators that this game will see plenty of goals – despite the arrival of Coyle – and Bettorlogic’s ‘Form Lab Pro’ tool suggests that goal minutes buyers at 155 with Sporting Index may do well. There has been at least one goal after 70 minutes in nine of Arsenal’s last 14 trips to bottom six clubs; the same is true in nine of Bolton’s last 14 at the Reebok against Big Four sides.
Arsenal should have too much firepower and a buy of their supremacy at 1.4 with Sporting Index looks good value.
Arsenal to win at 4/7 with Boylesports
Buy Arsenal supremacy at 1.4 with Sporting Index
Buy total match goals at 3.1 with Sporting Index
ASTON VILLA vs WEST HAM
SUNDAY – 1.30PM SKY SPORTS 1
THIS season is turning into one of the most exciting in recent memory with the race for the title and fourth spot both wide open. There are also at least eight teams trying to avoid relegation and West Ham will be hoping to win this battle of the claret and blues to move further away from the drop zone.
Martin O’Neill’s side have lost their last two league games, but they were both against the Big Four and they were unlucky to lose at home against Liverpool last time. That was only their second defeat at Villa Park all season and prior to their reverse at Arsenal in December they had won their previous four, all to nil and all by the HT / FT result. They are also formidable opponents at home against bottom-six outfits – winning 14 of 17 such games under O’Neill, 11 by the HT / FT result and only losing one.
Since the start of last season against all opponents Villa have won 13 home games and were leading at half-time in nine of those, but have only won five by two or more goals. That underlines the strength of O’Neill’s defences and they often need just a one goal margin to hold on and take all three points.
The Hammers have only won once on their travels this season and have now lost their last three away. Bottom-six sides with the same three game away form have lost their following match at top six-opposition on 11 of 14 occasions since 2004/05, while six of those came by the HT / FT result. The Villans have conceded to only three sides at Villa Park before the break this season while the Hammers have conceded in the first half in five of their last seven. Boylesports offer 6/4 about the double result and that looks a decent price.
Aston Villa HT / FT at 6/4 with Boylesports