Liverpool v Bolton
Saturday 24th January, 17:30
Live on BT Sport 1
After a disappointing start, the Reds are now firing on at least three cylinders and starting to show a bit more of the good stuff that typified their campaign last season. Some great wins in the league and fighting draw against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup, in which they were the better side, means they welcome Bolton to Anfield in a great run of form.
With Raheem Sterling in fine fettle after his mini-break and Liverpool appearing to have more balance to their side in games against Sunderland, Aston Villa and the aforementioned Chelsea, fans will be expecting a positive result on Saturday evening.
It is probably too early to welcome Daniel Sturridge back into the fold, but Glen Johnson and Joe Allen should return from injury and are in contention to feature.
Bolton Wanderers now sit comfortably in mid-table after a start to the season that saw them bottom of the league after 11 games and cost Dougie Freedman his job.
Neil Lennon came in, and ever since they've looked a pretty decent Championship proposition. Casting aside Wigan in the FA Cup third round, they beat Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough last time out and will come into a showpiece FA Cup tie at Anfield motivated to showcase their talents.
With just one defeat in their last ten league games, Bolton are a side that Liverpool underestimate at their peril.
Liverpool are huge favourites to take care of business within 90 minutes at 1.341/3, which is to be expected. Bolton are way out at 11.010/1 and The Draw is an attractively-priced 6.05/1. We need to be realistic here with our expectations of what Bolton can seriously do at Anfield on Saturday evening though; Brendan Rodgers' men are in their best run of form all season, he knows this is a realistic chance of some much-needed silverware, and I expect the home side to take this game very seriously.
I can't back Bolton to get anything out of this game, as good as they've been recently. That said, I'm not interested in backing Liverpool at that price either, so we'll need to look elsewhere for a bet.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
Liverpool are known for their goals - they score a fair few and conceded their fair share too - but none of their last three games have gone Overs. Three of Bolton's last six have gone Overs, so it's a 50/50 call as far as they're concerned.
Overs is a huge favourite in this market - 1.68/13 is the price at the time of writing - and this is all predicated on the market thinking the Reds will dish out a spanking to a team in the division below. It may not work out quite like that, but I am not convinced enough by Unders to back it at an admittedly-attractive 2.568/5 either. A conundrum.
While I don't think Liverpool will necessarily dish out an absolute shellacking to Bolton on Saturday teatime, I think they have a decent chance of recording a fairly routine win, so in the interests of seeking out a better price, I'm happy to put them up in the handicap market. Liverpool-1 is currently trading at 2.01/1 on the Exchange, and I think that's a good bet.
Raheem Sterling was the stand out player for Liverpool against Chelsea, and the extended break afforded to him by his manager appears to have done wonders for his confidence and vitality. I'd fancy his pace and trickery to cause Lennon's men problems here, and 21/20 on the diminutive forward to score at any time is worth a back.
Back Liverpool-1 at 2.01/1 or greater
Back Raheem Sterling to score at 21/20 on the Sportsbook
For news on the replay, then please read our Bolton v Liverpool FA Cup Betting Preview & Tips.