Bolton Wanderers v Aston Villa - Preview

  • March 05, 2011 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/3a9d4

Bolton host Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon, knowing that victory at the Reebok Stadium would lift them into the Premier League's top six.

With Liverpool not playing until Sunday, the Trotters can leapfrog them in the table and continue their push for European qualification.

It will not come easy, however, with Wanderers having failed to beat the Villans in any of their last eight meetings.

Daniel Sturridge should start in attack for the Trotters, as he aims to become the first Bolton player to ever score in five consecutive Premier League games for the club.

Partnering him will be club captain Kevin Davies, with the duo expected to hold off competition from Ivan Klasnic and Johan Elmander. The latter of which could start on the right of midfield, in place of the fatigued Lee Chung-Yong.

Martin Petrov and Matt Taylor will both be hopeful of starting on the left, while any two of Fabrice Muamba, Stuart Holden and Mark Davies will start in the middle.

Gretar Steinsson could return to the side after recovering from a long-term knee injury, meaning Paul Robinson will revert back to his more natural left back position, with Marcos Alonso dropping to the bench.

Gary Cahill and David Wheater should complete the backline, providing cover in front of Jussi Jaaskelainen in goal.

Joey O'Brien, Ricardo Gardner and Jlloyd Samuel are all edging closer to fitness, but are not yet fit to play. Zat Knight, Sean Davis and Sam Ricketts all remain long-term absentees.

Villa boss Gerard Houllier has come under huge criticism this week after his side were dumped out of the FA Cup at Manchester City on Wednesday night.

Houllier opted to field a weakened side for the trip to Eastlands and, as a result, they were comprehensively beaten 3-0 on the night.

The likes of Ashley Young and Stewart Downing were left on the bench, but should return at the Reebok, with Young having scored in every one of the last five meetings between the two sides.

A major blow for Villa is the news that Richard Dunne will be out for a month after suffering a shoulder injury. James Collins should replace him in defence after recovering from an injury of his own.

Jean Makoun is suspended, Nathan Baker is doubtful and Carlos Cuellar is definitely out, leaving Houllier with a somewhat depleted squad.

He will, however, be able to call upon the services of club record signing Darren Bent, who has scored 10 goals in his last 10 appearances against Bolton.

Bolton Wanderers: from: Jaaskelainen, Bogdan, Steinsson, Robinson, Cahill, Alonso, Wheater, Muamba, Taylor, Holden, Petrov, M Davies, Cohen, Chung-Yong, Elmander, K Davies, Sturridge, Klasnic, Rodrigo, Blake

Last Meeting:
18th September 2010
Premier League
Aston Villa 1-1 Bolton Wanderers

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Rochdale 34 36
20 AFC Wimbledon 35 35
21 Tranmere Rovers 34 32
22 Southend United 35 19
23 Bolton Wanderers 34 14
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19.38% David Wheater
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