Bolton vs Sunderland: Bruce to heap more pressure on Bolton

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Sunderland have triumphed in their last four meetings with Bolton and this fine form could be critical in a clash that can already be billed as an early-season six pointer at the Reebok Stadium.

Although the end of October is already closing in, both teams are still to really kick-start their seasons and find themselves languishing in the bottom four of the Premier League standings.

Sunderland are 23/10 to beat Bolton and will be keen to take advantage of a Bolton defence that has been particularly giving so far this season.

Not only do Bolton have the worst defensive record in the top flight, but they have lost their last six home games in succession.

Sunderland’s chances of victory are also boosted by the return of Nicklas Bendtner, who was unavailable for their latest defeat to Arsenal because of the terms of his loan agreement.

He can be backed at 9/4 in the Premier League odds to score at any time within the 90 minutes.

As bad as Bolton are at home, Sunderland are arguably not much better on their travels.

They have only won two of their last 11 on the road, meaning that Bolton could be in line for back-to-back victories at 6/5, following their recent away success at Wigan.

The draw is 23/10, while some punters may want to effectively say that Bolton will not win by backing the 4/6 that Sunderland either win or draw in the double chance market.

You can be sure there will be goals at the Reebok with Bolton’s defensive frailties and latent attacking threat. Sunderland are 11/4 to win or draw with more than three goals in the game.

Ivan Klasnic has not netted since August and could break the trend at 7/4 to score at any time within the 90 minutes.

Dead-ball specialist Sebastian Larsson is Sunderland’s top scorer this term; eight of his last 14 Premier League goals have come from direct free kicks. He is 4/1 to score at any time.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.