Today’s Championship games did not make good viewing for Bolton fans as their side slumped to a 4-0 home defeat to promotion-chasing Norwich whilst Ipswich secured a point at home to Stoke. Both sides are looking as if League 1 is their most likely destination next season but their hopes of survival were slightly boosted after Sheffield United thrashed a Reading side also battling to stay in England’s second flight.
The odds to do not provide good reading for Bolton or Ipswich fans but will form or fixtures brighten up the picture? We will take a look at their chances and who might join them following a difficult day at the bottom.
Bolton had a very impressive start to the season picking 13 points in six games including a stunning win at the Hawthorns. Since then their fortunes have been quite the opposite and now sit 23rd on 26 points, only being able to double their tally in the 27 games since. Recent form is nothing to get excited about either. They picked up an impressive win at playoff hopefuls Birmingham during the week but despite this have still lost six in their last eight games since the turn of the New Year.
Norwich made light work of the Wanderers today putting four past them in a game which was all but over by half time. A trip to Leeds awaits next and it’s hard to picture them getting anything from the game at all.
After this, fixtures for Bolton do ease up with only one fixture against a top six side in the remaining 13 games. The table will mix up as the weeks go on, but at this point, the fixtures are looking friendly.
Bolton fans will be hoping they can make the most of this and make a push for survival similar to the one we saw last season. At this stage, you can find Bolton to go down at 1/12 with bet365 which reflects the very real possibility they will be playing League 1 football next season.
If Bolton fans thought things were going badly, at least it’s not as bad as bottom side Ipswich Town. Ipswich sit bottom on 20 points, six points adrift from Bolton and for most people are all but relegated. Ipswich fans will not want to read the odds the bookmakers are offering as this just confirms the likelihood of their fate.
Today provided some entertainment for Ipswich fans but most of them would have been fearing the familiar until Will Keane popped up with a 92nd-minute equaliser. This draw was not the result the Tractor Boys needed as they have lost seven of their last ten and only managed three points once.
Unlike Bolton, they do still have many of the top six to play, with four of the current group waiting for them during their run in. The motivation gained from a last-minute equaliser may provide some positive results in the coming weeks but it is looking unlikely for the leagues bottom side. They sit nine points off safety and the odds of 1/33 with William Hill show little hope in their bid for survival.
It looked from the outside as though Bolton and Reading were having a little competition of their own in which both teams tried to concede as many as possible. In fairness, both teams came up against the top two clubs in Norwich and Sheffield United so defeats were likely. Both these sides include players bidding for the golden boot and our article on this can be found here.
Reading looked in real trouble coming into the New Year having gone 10 league games without a win but since the turn of 2019 things have looked up. Only three league defeats since the first game of the year show progress and they have picked up two wins in that time.
The next three fixtures look friendly for the Royals as they host Rotherham and Wigan whilst face a trip to fellow strugglers Ipswich, which will be a massive six-pointer. Taking positive results from these three will provide a massive boost to their survival hopes and fans will be hoping their form continues to improve.
At this point, they can be found at Evens with Coral to avoid the drop which could prove good value, especially as these odds will most likely drop if they get some positive results over the next three games.
Another Championship struggler had a difficult day being held 2-2 by Sheffield Wednesday who themselves haven’t been in scintillating form. Rotherham sit joint on points with Reading on 29 but their worse defensive record sees them sit below on goal difference.
It could be argued that Rotherham form views the worst of all the struggling sides. Incredibly they have only picked up one win in their last 17 league games and have not won since the first game of the New Year.
If this form is anything to by their clash next week with Reading could be one that shapes their season and sees them slip further into trouble. Blackburn and Sheffield United follow and these certainly aren’t easy tests so it’s difficult to picture where the points are coming from.
Rotherham look to be in deep trouble so their odds of 4/9 with Paddy Power might be good value considering their form and fixtures.
Let us know who you think will be playing in League 1 next season and who will beat the drop.
Our Midseason Championship review is also live and can be found here for predictions and tips on the rest of the games to come!