Bolton entertain Wigan in Lancashire derby
It’s Lancashire derby time in the Championship, as Bolton Wanderers host Wigan Athletic. Both teams are at the wrong end of the table, having previously had respectable respective Premier League stints.
Neil Lennon’s side have been largely inconsistent recently, taking six points from four fixtures, though the former Celtic manager described his side as “breathtaking” in the 3-0 victory over Cardiff last time out.
Lennon, whose side are 8/5 with Coral to beat Wigan, added: “We matched Cardiff all over the park. It was an outstanding team performance. It would be difficult to pick out individuals because they all played, more or less, at the top of their game.”
Following disappointing performances of late, Lennon left out captain Jay Spearing and last term’s top scorer Jermaine Beckford for the win over the Bluebirds, bringing in midfielder Josh Vela (11/2 to be on target anytime) and striker Craig Davies (7/1 to net the opener).
Lennon has the luxury of being able to make a call of who to start up front, with Beckford 6/1 to grab the first goal.
“I’m delighted with both of them,” said Lennon. “Craig led the line fantastically. His quality on the ball is improving all the time and he wants to get better.
“We think Josh is a good footballer and he just got the nod over Oscar Threlkeld in terms of maturity. “The standard is that. I’m not expecting to play as well as that every week, but I’m not expecting us to play as disappointingly as we did against Norwich.
“I want us to find some consistency, but that was really the reaction I was looking for.”
Liam Feeney, however, was the match hero, having bagged a brace, and is 18/1 to achieve this or better against Wigan.
The visitors’ form has also been patchy, achieving five points from a possible 12 in their last four matches, though they recently lost 1-0 to a struggling Brighton outfit.
What Wigan have lacked this season, and for many years, is an out-and-out goalscorer in the vein of former strike duo Jason Roberts and Nathan Ellington, who were so prolific together the season that the Lactics got promoted the Premier League.
Their current top scorer in all competitions this season is youth academy product Callum McManaman, who has found the net on four occasions. He is 11/4 to score anytime at the Trotters, while Shaun Maloney, the man who struck in his team’s 3-3 draw with Fulham, is a 2/1 chance in the same market.
Uwe Rosler knows that if his side lose, their opponents will climb one point above them in the table, while escaping the relegation zone, and possibly landing Wigan in it. Last season, the same fixture ended in a 1-1 draw, and you can get odds of 5/1 on the same scoreline.