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Barnsley v Bolton: Prediction, Tips and Odds

These two teams faced each other in the semi-finals of last season’s third tier play-offs with Barnsley securing a 2-1 aggregate triumph, so Bolton will be hoping to turn the tables and Dan Childs has picked out his three best bets for their meeting in south Yorkshire.

Barnsley are 11/5 to establish a lead before next Tuesday’s visit to the Toughsheet Community Stadium, but Bolton are the 5/4 favourites to secure an away victory.

Dan Childs' Barnsley v Bolton tips and predictions

Bolton to win - 5/4

Bolton were beaten by Barnsley in last season’s League One play-offs, but they can complete the first part of a revenge mission by defeating the Tykes at Oakwell on Friday.

The Trotters had hoped to win automatic promotion and their quest for a top-two finish went all the way to the 46th game.

Ian Evatt’s side ultimately fell short - finishing five points behind second-placed Derby - but they wrapped up the regular season with an entertaining 3-3 draw at Peterborough and go into the play-offs on a seven-match unbeaten run.

While Bolton seem to be playing with confidence, Barnsley are likely to be short of belief after a six-game winless sequence.

The Tykes struggled to cope with a tough set of April fixtures and their struggles prompted a shock decision from the board, who axed head coach Neill Collins in the build-up to last weekend’s clash at home to Northampton.

Martin Devaney stepped up as caretaker-manager and started off with a 1-1 draw against the mid-table Cobblers, which proved to be sufficient for a top-six finish after Lincoln were beaten 2-0 at home by Portsmouth.

However, there was no sign of a major uplift in performance and that will be a concern given the magnitude and difficulty of the games coming up.

The hosts will be striving to find something extra against the Trotters, but they are approaching the play-offs with hope rather than expectation and their poor run looks likely to continue.

Josh Sheehan to assist a goal - 10/3

Creative midfielder Josh Sheehan has been one of Bolton’s most improved players this season and could have a major role to play in their play-off campaign.

Sheehan celebrated his 29th birthday earlier this year and is playing some of the best football of his career.

The Welshman began his career with Swansea, where he signed a professional contract in 2012, but he failed to make a single league appearance for the club and was transferred to Newport in 2018.

Sheehan flourished in his three seasons with the Exiles and earned a move to Bolton in August 2021, but he took a while to adjust to his new environment and was little more than a fringe player during the 2021-22 and 2022-23 campaigns.

However, everything has changed this term with Sheehan earning the complete trust of his manager.

He has relished playing in an attacking midfield role, contributing 12 League One assists, and looks a tempting option to lay on at least one goal against the Tykes.

George Thomason to have a shot on target - 9/4

Evatt encourages all of his midfielders to influence the game in an attacking sense and has got plenty of positive performances from George Thomason, who is an all-action player.

Thomason loves a tackle and his combative style has contributed to a high card count of 14 yellows and one red which is the highest of any League One player this season.

The 23-year-old is 15/8 to collect a card at Oakwell, but he is just as likely to impact the game in a more positive manner.

Thomason has made 13 League One goal contributions (six goals and seven assists) and will not be afraid to pull the trigger if he gets a sight of goal in south Yorkshire.

He has registered 20 shots on target in league matches this season and looks a value shot to add another on Friday evening.

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Barnsley v Bolton odds

Barnsley - 11/5
Draw - 12/5
Bolton - 5/4

View the full market and more odds for Barnsley v Bolton on site

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This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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