Bolton Wanderers have a chance to get their hunt for automatic promotion back on track when they host a struggling Charlton Athletic at the Macron Stadium on Saturday.
Bolton are still well in contention for an instant return to the Championship, and a win against the Addicks would put them just two points behind second-place Scunthorpe United. The Trotters will see this home encounter against 14th-place Charlton as the perfect chance to pick up their first win in 2017 and push on to a better run of form in February.
Karl Robinson may be eyeing this fixture as an opportunity to get one over on former Addicks boss Phil Parkinson, who has lost two and drawn two in all competitions in January. Bolton were beaten by relegation-threatened Swindon Town in their last home game, and the loss to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup will have dented The Trotters’ confidence as well.
But Robinson has also struggled during his short tenure in charge at the Valley, and has won twice in his first nine games. In that timeframe the Addicks have only notched four goals away from home, and may find it hard to breach a Bolton side that have conceded four times in their last six league games.
Both teams will go into the tie after an extended break, having missed the last league fixtures due to frozen pitches at The Valley and Roots Hall.
This will benefit Bolton more, as they played four games in January to Charlton’s two.
Before the 2-1 loss to Swindon, Bolton were undefeated at home in 11 games across all competitions, having won all but one of those fixtures. This exceptional form suggests that the loss against the Robins was a minor blip and Charlton will have a tough time when they roll up at the Macron.
Six of the last 10 meetings between these two sides have ended in draws, and Bolton haven’t won a fixture since 2012. Things just aren’t clicking for Charlton at the moment, though, and it would be unwise to back them for the win against one of the strongest sides in the division.
With time ahead of the match to recover from a poor start to the New Year, we think Bolton will bounce back and rekindle their push for promotion here. As they are odds on at 4/5 to win , backing them To Win Both Halves could provide better returns.