Aston Villa v Bolton Wanderers - Preview

  • April 24, 2012 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton travel to Villa Park on Tuesday night, knowing only victory over Aston Villa will do.

Both sides go into the game in poor form. Wanderers have failed to win any of their last three games, while Villa have won just one of their last 13, including none of the last six.

Bolton boss Owen Coyle has been troubled by injuries to key players all season and is likely to be forced into changes again ahead of the relegation six-pointer.

Mark Davies picked up an ankle injury in the closing stages of Saturday's 1-1 draw against Swansea City and with Darren Pratley struggling with a virus, Josh Vela could be handed his first senior start for the club in midfield.

Should Davies fail to feature, he will join a long list of central midfield options that are unavailable for selection, including Gregg Wylde, who is still awaiting official clearance from FIFA before making his move from Glasgow Rangers complete.

Another absentee from the Bolton squad will be Tuncay, who has returned to Germany after suffering from a bout of tonsillitis.

Wanderers' midfield troubles should see them line up with Martin Petrov, Nigel Reo-Coker, Chris Eagles, Ryo Miyaichi and Vela, although there is the possibility of pushing Tim Ream into the holding role, with Zat Knight coming in to partner David Wheater at the heart of the defence.

Sam Ricketts and Gretar Steinsson should keep their places at full-back, with Adam Bogdan in goal and Kevin Davies holding off competition from David Ngog for the lone front role.

Lee Chung-Yong has returned to first-team training after nine months out with a broken leg, but he will not be considered for the trip to the Midlands.

Villa boss Alex McLeish also has injury problems ahead of Tuesday's game, with James Collins the latest to be ruled out.

Collins is suffering from a groin problem he picked up during Saturday's goalless draw with Sunderland, meaning Carlos Cuellar is likely to partner Nathan Baker in defence, with Alan Hutton returning to the side at right-back.

Gabriel Agbonlahor will be given a late fitness test on a shoulder injury. Should he fail to make the grade, Emile Heskey is in contention to start alongside Andrea Weimann in attack, with Darren Bent continuing to recover from ankle surgery.

Bolton Wanderers: from: Bogdan, Jaaskelainen, Lynch, Steinsson, Alonso, Knight, Mears, Ricketts, Boyata, Wheater, Ream, Connolly, Riley, Eagles, Petrov, M Davies, Reo-Coker, Miyaichi, Vela, Blakeman, K Davies, Klasnic, Blake, Ngog, Sordell, Eaves, Obadeyi

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Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Cheltenham Town 40 72
2 Cambridge United 41 71
3 Bolton Wanderers 40 67
4 Tranmere Rovers 40 65
5 Morecambe 40 63
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