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Jon Riley 9th Sep 2011 - 16:06

Battling Bolton no match for rampant Red Devils

Bolton Wanderers v Manchester United | Saturday 17:30 - live on ESPN

Just a few days ago Gary Cahill and Wayne Rooney were England team-mates stood side-by-side representing the Three Lions on the battlefields of Sofia and Wembley. Now they go up against one another at the Reebok Stadium as direct rivals, looking to gain supremacy in this Lancashire derby.

Both Cahill (12/1 anytime scorer) and Rooney (4/1 first scorer) were on the scoresheet in Bulgaria and the latter will have his sights firmly set on extending his fantastic goal scoring form at the start of this campaign. His hat-trick in the 8-2 demolition of Arsenal two weeks ago took his tally to give goals from United's opening three matches as well as two for his country.

Even two weeks on from that unbelievable match at Old Trafford, it's still staggering to think how easily Manchester United stuck eight goals past perennial title challengers Arsenal in their last outing and it'll be interesting to see if they can reach those halcyon heights against a Wanderers team undergoing a tough start to their campaign.

After being on the end of clinical beatings at the hands of Manchester City and Liverpool life does not get any easier for Bolton boss Owen Coyle. Those two defeats have somewhat clouded over a great opening day win away at newly-promoted QPR, but surely the Reebok faithful will appreciate that wins against the top four these days will be far and from between and points against teams in the bottom half of the table, Rangers for instance, will be their team's bread and butter.

The match betting for this encounter sees the visitors, unsurprisingly, installed as 4/9 favourites in comparison to the 7s available for the hosts. United have won eleven of their last thirteen meetings with Bolton and the champions haven't lost to this weekend's opposition for four years now.

Sir Alex Ferguson has no fresh injury concerns ahead of Saturday's tea-time game so the duo of Rooney and summer signing Ashley Young will link up once again. The former Villa star has taken to life at Old Trafford like a duck to water, his first goal against Arsenal was particularly breathtaking, and he followed that up with the only goal in England's 1-0 victory over Wales in midweek. Young is priced at 13/2 to open the scoring on this occasion while he and his partner in crime Rooney are the focus of our William Hill Match Winner offer. For both Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney to score at anytime against Bolton, you'll find odds of 6/1, enhanced from 5/1.

Bolton's Stuart Holden could make his comeback for Wanderers, ironically against the team in which he suffered his horrific knee injury six months ago. If last year's clashes are anything to go by, Owen Coyle will try to pack his midfield and leave target man Kevin Davies (11/1) up front to spearhead any attack. Therefore, Holden could find himself plunged into action quicker than he thought.

All things considered, the only conclusion is that an away win is on the cards. Bolton wouldn't be Bolton if they didn't put up a fight so I don't expect United will have things all their own way. I'm going to recommend a 3-1 United win priced at 10/1 and United-1 goal in the match handicap market, priced at 11/10.

A more speculative punt could be 1st half total goals, over 3.5 can be backed at 16s, if United's blistering start last week is anything to go by then there could be yet another goal fest.

 
 
 

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