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Bristol Rovers fans have had a month to forget and the Gas are well worth opposing in their English League One match against Bolton at the Macron Stadium on Tuesday.
An English League One promotion challenge was not out of the question before the transfer window slammed shut for another season but the worst nightmare of Bristol Rovers supporters happened when Matty Taylor joined Bristol City for a paltry fee. According to media reports, only 300,000 British pounds changed hands when Taylor became the first player to cross the Bristol divide since Trevor Morgan went from Rovers to City in 1987. One would have expected Bristol Rovers to receive a seven-digit amount for Taylor’s services but it appears that he had a clause in his Gas contract that enabled him to leave for the aforementioned sum.
Taylor had been instrumental in Bristol Rovers getting back into the English Football League at the first attempt and then securing a second consecutive promotion to earn a spot in English League One. Taylor scored 61 goals in 118 matches for Bristol Rovers, including being the English Football League top goal scorer last term. Taylor had hit 16 English League One goals for Bristol Rovers before becoming persona non grata with Gas fans by joining Bristol City – no other Rovers player has bagged more than eight divisional goals.
It was on Tuesday 31 January that Taylor committed the worst sin imaginable to Bristol Rovers supporters and, since then, the Gas have failed to win any of their five games. Bristol Rovers have registered five successive low-scoring draws, picking up English League One points at home to Bradford, Sheffield United and Scunthorpe and away to Rochdale and Port Vale. Yes, Bristol Rovers have had a tough run of English League One fixtures since Taylor departed but its next opponent, Bolton, is flying high near the top of the ladder and Wanderers have home advantage over the Gas.
Bolton is ranked fourth in English League One having earned 11 more points than Bristol Rovers in spite of playing two fewer matches. And according to one’s English League One collateral form analysis, Bolton boasts an 11-6-6 lead over Bristol Rovers. BetVictor is offering odds of 23/20 2.15 +115 1.15 1.15 -0.87 about Bolton, which is 11-3-3 at home in English Premier League compared to Bristol Rovers being 3-5-8 on the road in the competition, winning Tuesday’s game but one thinks that there are grounds for backing Wanderers on another market.
Coral is quoting odds of 13/5 3.60 +260 2.60 2.60 -0.38 about Bolton beating Bristol Rovers in Tuesday’s English League One match after leading at half time. Bolton is English League One’s second best first-half performer, whereas Bristol Rovers ranks 21st. Bolton leads English League One for half-time/full-time double-result successes with 13 out of 32, including nine out of 17 at home. Bristol Rovers has been behind at both half time and full time seven times in its 34 English League One games, including five times on its 16 road trips.
Bolton visited Bristol Rovers in the third round of English League One action and Wanderers registered a 2-1 away win, scoring twice in the first 26 minutes en route to what was their third consecutive divisional triumph. Like most English League One teams, Bolton has had a few bad days at the office but Wanderers are bang in the promotion hunt for a reason. Bristol Rovers is sliding down the English League One ladder without Taylor and the Gas have not prevailed at the home ground of a side positioned higher than 16th.
Bolton HT/FT Double Result
Tuesday 28th February, 20:00 GMT
Odds: 13/5 3.60 +260 2.60 2.60 -0.38