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Improving Bolton brilliant value to nick a point off Norwich

Victory by a three-goal margin at home to Bolton Wanderers would, for a short while at least, take Norwich City top of the Championship. Odds of 11/1 with Coral say the Canaries will win 3-0.

It’s the East Anglia outfit that have had the better of recent meetings, beating Bolton in three of the last four encounters. Neil Adams’ Norwich thus start as odds-on 8/13 favourites for victory at Carrow Road, but their last win in front of their own fans came in the Capital One Cup against lower league opposition back in August.

Three of the last four Canaries’ home games, and the same proportion of league outings have been draws. Attractive odds of 14/5 say the spoils shall be shared with the Trotters.

Goals have really dried up for Norwich, just two in their last five fixtures, with the early campaign form of Lewis Grabban (odds-on at 10/11 to net anytime) and Cameron Jerome (available at 2/1 in a match special to score anytime and the hosts to win, staking a maximum of £20) drying up dramatically.

Such scoring problems are only exacerbated by the absence of playmaker Wes Hoolahan through injury. Happily, though, Adams can call on someone who has netted against Wanderers before, in box-to-box midfielder Bradley Johnson. He was on target back in 2011 and is a 4/1 chance to grab another goal anytime.

Northern Ireland forward Kyle Lafferty is back from a ban, and really needs to translate his international form of three goals in as many outings in Euro 2016 qualifying over to his club. It’s a rather short 5/4 that he breaks his Canaries duck at the 10th time of asking in the league.

Bolton, 5/1 outsiders to win this Friday night game under new boss Neil Lennon, have relied heavily on defenders to strike on the road recently. Matt Mills scored at both Stamford Bridge (in the League Cup) and St Andrew’s, so the former Leicester City skipper is temptingly long at 16/1 to net anytime here.

The Trotters remain depleted at the back, however, with number one Adam Bogdan, left back Marc Tierney and centre half David Wheater all still missing. Midfielder Mark Davies scored against Brentford off the bench last time out, and could step up his return from injury by starting here. It’s a 7/2 chance to be on target again.

Namesake Craig Davies also netted for Wanderers in the previous outing, and is 11/4 to do so once more, and 8/1 to round off the scoring. There’s definitely more to come from Jermaine Beckford, who has a goal against Norwich in Leeds United colours, and is 2/1 in the anytime market.

Both teams’ dearth in attack really does make a 0-0 at 12/1 tempting, while odds for total goals to be under 1.5 are a safer 3/1.