Lays of the Weekend: Bolton, Bristol City and Luton to falter in finales

Lay Bolton to beat Birmingham @ [2.36]

These teams have played out similar seasons: both got far too close to the relegation zone early on, opted to change the manager to resolve this issue, made superb starts under the replacements and then cooled off a little.

However, only one has sustained their momentum in the run-in, and they have a shot at a top-ten finish as a result: Birmingham.

The Blues have won two in a row and four in seven, losing just three in 12 – two of those away to top two Bournemouth and Watford – whereas Bolton are limping over the line, winning a rubbish one in eight, and none in three at their Macron Stadium – their worst Championship run under Neil Lennon.

Lay Bristol City to beat Walsall @ [1.8]

Bristol City are one of the few sides in the country that will be able to reflect on this campaign as one in which they achieved everything that they could have aspired to, topping the League One table and stopping off at Wembley along the way to collect the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

It is excusable then that with the pressure eased, they have lost a little sparkle recently, drawing four times in seven games and being held in three of their last five at Ashton Gate. Indeed, each of that trio of irritants can currently be found below 11th-placed Walsall: Gillingham, Barnsley and Coventry.

By contrast, the Saddlers have earned that top-half spot – and the prospect of concluding the season in eighth by virtue of their joint-longest unbeaten streak in 2014/15, going seven without a wobble and keeping five clean sheets in doing so.

Lay Luton to beat Stevenage @ [2.06]

Luton have a slim chance of reclaiming the play-off berth that once appeared a certainly, but even the knowledge that a win coupled with a Plymouth reverse to Shrewsbury and a nine-goal swing would prolong their campaign, the Hatters’ form offers no incentive to back them to do their bit.

John Still’s men have lost nine in 13 and their only victories in that period arrived against Tranmere, who are now 24th and relegated with a match to spare, and 22nd-placed Hartlepool.

Stevenage meanwhile have won four in five, are undefeated in seven and haven’t been conquered in any of their seven road trips since mid-February. Burton (top) and Wycombe (fifth) are among the hosts that they have frustrated.