Chelsea v Bolton Wanderers - Preview

  • February 24, 2012 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton travel to Chelsea on Saturday, looking to record their first victory over the Blues since December 2003.

Since securing a 2-1 success at Stamford Bridge just over eight years ago, Wanderers have lost 12 of the 16 meetings since, with the two sides playing out four draws.

During the same period, Bolton will have rarely met a Chelsea side in such a bad state of affairs, with Andre Villas-Boas' side winning just one of their last seven games in all competitions.

Wanderers boss Owen Coyle is likely to name a similar side to the one which advanced to the sixth round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win at Millwall last weekend.

Tim Ream was handed a debut at The Den and he may keep his place alongside David Wheater at the heart of the defence, although Zat Knight will be hoping to win his place back at the expense of the United States international.

Sam Ricketts and Gretar Steinsson should continue in the full-back roles, with Adam Bogdan continuing in goal as Jussi Jaaskelainen gets used to life on the bench.

After missing the defeat to Wigan Athletic a fortnight ago, Fabrice Muamba was recalled against Millwall and looks set to keep his place alongside Nigel Reo-Coker and Mark Davies in central midfield.

Davies has been struggling with a hamstring injury over the last week, but is expected to start at Stamford Bridge.

Ryo Miyaichi and Tuncay impressed on the wings last weekend, but Chris Eagles is expected to replace the latter on the right hand side, while Miyaichi may hold off competition from Martin Petrov to keep his place on the left.

David Ngog produced arguably his best display in a Bolton shirt at The Den and looks set to start in the absence of Kevin Davies, who is out with a medial knee ligament injury. January signing Marvin Sordell should be named amongst the substitutes.

Davies joins Stuart Holden, Lee Chung-Yong, Marcos Alonso, Ricardo Gardner, Tyrone Mears and Joe Riley on the sidelines.

Sean Davis and Mark Connolly are unavailable after they netted loan deals in the Football League.

With Chelsea captain John Terry ruled out for six weeks following knee surgery, Gary Cahill is in contention to play against his former club.

Cahill joined the Blues in a £7million move from Bolton last month and is expected to partner David Luiz at the heart of the Chelsea defence.

Ashley Cole was dropped to the bench for the 3-1 defeat to Italian side Napoli on Tuesday night, but he should earn a recall after injury forced Jose Bosingwa off the field.

Michael Essien and Frank Lampard are also pushing for recalls, while Fernando Torres will be given a late fitness test after the Spain international missed training on Thursday through illness.

Daniel Sturridge is also set to start against his former club. Sturridge scored eight goals in 12 appearances during a loan spell at the Reebok Stadium last season and will be hoping for a repeat of his goalscoring performance against Wanderers from last October, when he was on the scoresheet twice.

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Jaaskelainen, Lynch, Steinsson, Robinson, Knight, Ricketts, Boyata, Wheater, Ream, Muamba, Eagles, Petrov, M Davies, Reo-Coker, Pratley, Miyaichi, Vela, Blakeman, Tuncay, Klasnic, Blake, Ngog, Sordell, Eaves, Obadeyi, O'Halloran

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
11 Ipswich Town 20 27
12 Cheltenham Town 19 27
13 Bolton Wanderers 20 26
14 Accrington Stanley 19 24
15 Charlton Athletic 20 23
View Full Standings >>


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