Bolton v Aston Villa predictions: Villans vulnerable to hot trotters | Sports News

Alex Morton

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Bolton Wanderers manager Ian Evatt

Alex Morton

Free football tips, best bets and analysis for Bolton Wanderers v Aston Villa in the EFL Cup second round on Tuesday.

where to watch

Live on Sky Sports Main Event & Football, 7.45pm Tuesday

Best bet

1pt 13-2 Ladbrokes, Hills

Team News

Dion Charles could return after a thigh injury. Josh Sheehan and Lloyd Isgrove are long-time absentees.

Central defenders Diego Carlos and Kortney Hause are injured.


Sky could have sent their cameras to a handful of lower league venues looking for a giant EFL Cup massacre, but they may well have called it on their way to Bolton.

Southampton’s trip to Cambridge doesn’t look like a bright prospect for Saints, while the broadcaster must have been strongly tempted to travel to Stockport or Fleetwood to see if either of them could pile up more misery on Leicester and Everton respectively.

But instead the spotlight falls on Steven Gerrard, a three-time League Cup winner as a player but whose first foray into the competition as a manager may well end in early autumn.

Certainly, match prices invite snacking on Bolton, a League One side with top-six claims who will imagine they can get the better of a Premier League side with one eye on them right now.

Ian Evatt’s Bolton lost on the weekend, which in itself was newsworthy. The Trotters had not lost this season before facing Sheffield Wednesday, who left the University of Bolton stadium with a well-deserved 2-0 triumph to their name.

Until then, Bolton was sharp. They finished last season in flying form and started 2022-23 in the same vein, and they will be chomping at the bit to stay stuck at Villa.

Villa, of course, also lost on Saturday, beating Crystal Palace 3-1, a scoreline that in no way reflected how dominant the Eagles were, or how poor the Villans were.

Gerrard pledged to field a strong squad at Bolton but also insisted he would make changes ahead of the ‘David Cameron derby’ at home to West Ham on Sunday.

And to be honest, he could give up half his weekend squad given how awful they were with generally reliable guys like Matty Cash, Lucas Digne and John McGinn throwing howlers.

It’s been two away games this season and two defeats after losing at Bournemouth on the opening weekend, so while Bolton could be a third tier side, any away day for Villa currently threatens to be a nervous experience.

A much-changed Villa – then managed by Dean Smith – went to Barrow at this stage of last season’s competition and won 6-0 with youngster Cameron Archer scoring a hat-trick. Archer could feature on Tuesday if he is not loaned out.

It shows what the Villans are capable of against lower league opponents. But Bolton are better than Barrow and Villa were in a much happier state 12 months ago than they are now.

And given this climate of concern, a 13 to 2 odds on the hosts seems tasty.

Key stat

Bolton have lost just one of their last 14 games.



Penalty taker Aaron Morley
Ace of assistance Conor Bradley
card magnet Ricardo Santos
Aerial threat on set piece Ricardo Santos


Penalty taker Danny Ing
Ace of assistance Emi Buendia
Aerial threat on set piece Tyrone Ming
card magnet Danny Ing


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