Paddy’s Preview: Bolton vs Everton

David Moyes may have preferred a more sedate 2-0 win but the spirit and determination shown against a pretty spirited and determined Blackpool will have pleased him.

Louis Saha’s four goal display may even have brought a smile to his face. The French striker has been improving steadily over the last month and he looked near unplayable last week, however the rumours that he may have suffered a hamstring injury in training will have Everton fans worried. Goals, especially from the strikers, have been in short supply this season and it would be a blow to lose the one man who could solve that problem right after he’s put in his best performance in years.

If Saha is fit to start at the Reebok, then he’s an obvious choice to score first at 6/1, or if you’re feeling particularly optimistic then you can back him to score a hat-trick at 80/1. If he doesn’t play then Jermaine Beckford could get the nod and though he hasn’t exactly set Goodison Park alight, his goal last week was his third in six games. Plus he did open his Premier League account with that late equaliser against Bolton back in early November. He’s 15/2 to score first and 13/5 to score anytime. Tim Cahill hasn’t scored since his return from the Asia Cup but it’s only a matter of time and if this game proves to be tight, he’s the one player you’d fancy to come up with the first goal at 13/2.

Goals have become something for a problem for Bolton with only two in their last five games, both of which came from the boot of loan signing Daniel Sturridge. Wanderers have also managed just one win from their last seven league games and while Everton come in to this game on the back of a morale boosting win, Bolton suffered a morale sapping injury-time loss last week. David Moyes will be looking for a far better defensive display than the one he saw against Blackpool and if the hosts’ continue to struggle up front he may enjoy seeing his side keep a clean sheet at 21/10.

Bolton have only been beaten twice at home this season but they are on a poor run of form and their goals have dried up. Everton haven’t exactly been consistent themselves but if the in-form Saha is fit to play they will have the firepower necessary to make a convincing case to back them to take all three points at 17/10. A repeat of last weekend’s 5-3 win is a very profitable but very unlikely 500/1. 1-0 at 8/1 would more than satisfy fans and punters alike.

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