Friday night football is back from the Championship this evening with two matches to kick off the weekend’s fixtures.
Sheffield Utd have the chance to go back to the summit with victory of Nigel Clough’s Burton side, while Bolton will be looking to haul themselves out of the Championship relegation zone with a difficult looking tie at Preston.
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International football is finally done and dusted for 2017, which means fans can look forward to the return of Premier League and Championship action this weekend. And to kick us off there’s an intriguing Lancashire derby on Friday night as Preston host struggling Bolton at Deepdale.
After a bright start under new manager Alex Neil Preston have fallen off the pace of late. Winless in six league games they’re currently 5 points off the playoffs in 14th spot and head into Friday night’s derby having lost their last four outings – I think it’s fair to say the international break came at the perfect time for the Lilywhites. Their poor run of form coincides with a crippling injury crisis, leaving Neil without almost 10 key first team players including 7 defenders.
Bolton have their own issues to contend with. The newly promoted side have endured a torrid return to the Championship, but looked to have turned a corner prior to the international break. Phil Parkinson will be hoping his side can pick up where they left off after a shock victory over Norwich last time out.
The Wanderers are on a run of five games unbeaten after enduring eight defeats on the bounce. Their turnaround in fortunes has seen them climb off the bottom of the table and move to within two points of safety – a fait that looked impossible a few weeks ago.
Striker Gary Madine will be available despite his arrest last week and he’s 7/1 to open the scoring.
Stephy Mavididi is expected to lead the line for the hosts and he looks a decent price to score anytime at 9/4.
With 7 defenders sidelined Preston have been conceding goals for fun of late. They’ve shipped 15 goals in six outings. Bolton are leaky at the back too, having recorded just one clean sheet all season. So with that in mind both teams to score at 4/5 looks nailed on.
A few weeks ago you would have lumped on Preston to win this one. But taking into account both teams recent results and Preston’s never ending injury list I think Bolton or draw at EVS is good value.
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