Stoke v Bolton: Stoke too big to send Coyle’s men down
Given that Stoke were 4/5 to win their home game with Blackburn earlier this season, it is pretty clear that they must be the value bet at 11/8 to triumph over Bolton and condemn Owen Coyle’s men to relegation to the Championship.
Bolton obviously have the most riding on the fixture, given that they must secure victory to stand any chance of escaping the drop.
However, although this is effectively a dead rubber for Stoke as they have nothing to really play for, it is unlikely that they will simply roll over in the final game of the campaign in front of their own fans.
Meanwhile, it is hugely uncommon that a team can have home advantage and be positioned nine points better than their opposition, yet still be such a big price for victory, even with the other elements taken into account.
It is 7/4 that Bolton get their needed three points and they will look to Wigan for fond memories as they triumphed at the Britannia on the final day of last season to pull off a great escape.
Also in their favour is that only Manchester City and Manchester United average more points per game in away fixtures this season against teams currently in the bottom half of the league standings.
Furthermore, Stoke have suffered defeat on the final day of the last three Premier League seasons.
The draw can be backed at 12/5, but this looks the least likely of results.
Bolton have only drawn one away game all season and if the scores are level with 15 minutes remaining, Coyle will certainly be throwing more players forward.
This will potentially either lead to a Bolton goal or a winner for Stoke on the counter attack.