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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Bolton look underrated in Lancashire derby

Blackburn may not be as good as odds suggest

Bolton goalkeeper Remi Matthews celebrates the 1-0 win over Derby
1 of 1

Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports Football, 5.30pm Saturday

Only goal difference separates Bolton and Blackburn after 11 matches of the Sky Bet Championship season but bookmakers rate Rovers significantly higher than their Lancashire rivals.

Bolton are still no bigger than 2-1 for relegation despite a solid start while Blackburn, promoted from League One with 96 points last season, are 25-1 for a swift return to the third tier.

Those long-term odds are reflected in the match betting for the derby at Bolton, where the visitors are clear favourites.

However, Blackburn have found wins hard to come by in the early weeks of the season. Their only victory in their last six league fixtures was a 3-2 win at Stoke, where Saido Berahino missed a late chance to equalise from the penalty spot.

There have been creditable draws with Aston Villa, Derby and Nottingham Forest but they were beaten at home by Sheffield United on Tuesday, losing the shots-on-target count 7-2.

Bolton scored twice in the last three minutes to avoid relegation on the final day of last season and they kicked off this campaign with a shock win at West Brom.

Phil Parkinson's side have lost four of their last seven, including defeats to highflying Sheffield United and Middlesbrough, but they beat Derby 1-0 in their last home game and earned a 0-0 draw at Ipswich despite having Marc Wilson sent off in the 34th minute.

The derby atmosphere should gee up the Trotters and they make more appeal at the prices than a Blackburn side who have conceded nine goals in their last four away games in all competitions.

Bolton draw no bet
2pts 11-8 bet365, Betfred, Sky Bet

Team news
Keeper Ben Alnwick (groin) is likely to be out until after the international break so Remi Matthews will continue in goal.

Charlie Mulgrew (calf) is pushing for a recall to the starting 11 but Ryan Nyambe (hamstring) joins Dominic Samuel and Ben Gladwin on the sidelines.

Key stat
Blackburn have drawn six of their 11 league games this season.

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Blackburn's only victory in their last six was a 3-2 win at Stoke, where Saido Berahino missed a late chance to equalise from the penalty spot
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