Chelsea v Bolton Wanderers - Preview

  • September 24, 2014 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton travel to Chelsea on Wednesday evening, looking to spring a major surprise and end a run of dismal results against Jose Mourinho's side.

Although the League Cup provides a welcome distraction from Wanderers' struggles in the Championship, they head to Stamford Bridge having lost their last nine games against the Blues - with no win in their last 18 meetings, dating back to December 2003.

Dougie Freedman took Crystal Palace to the semi-finals of the competition in 2012, where they lost on penalties to Cardiff City, but he faces a much bigger task if his current Bolton team is to repeat that achievement three seasons on.

The Wanderers boss is likely to hand a debut to Chris Herd, who joined on loan from Aston Villa on Tuesday. Herd can play anywhere across the back-four and also in midfield, but is likely to start at right-back as Kevin McNaughton continues to struggle against a virus which has seen him lose a considerable amount of weight.

Herd's likely inclusion could allow Tim Ream to move across to left-back, although he may also be given an opportunity to resume his partnership alongside Matt Mills in defence.

Paddy Kenny is likely to be on the bench, with Andy Lonergan favourite to start in goal, while another new recruit could feature in the form of Max Clayton, who completed a move from Crewe Alexandra last week.

Robert Hall scored twice for the development squad, as they won 3-1 at Reading on Monday night, and he could be given an opportunity to impress in the capital, while the likes of Mark Davies, Jermaine Beckford, Neil Danns, Darren Pratley and Medo Kamara could all come back into the side following the weekend defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Chelsea are major favourites to make the fourth round, although they will have to do it without the Premier League's leading goalscorer - Diego Costa - who is struggling to play twice a week because of an ongoing hamstring issue.

Didier Drogba and Loic Remy are both available to start in his absence, but there will be no place for Ramires - who is also struggling with a hamstring problem.

Petr Cech is expected to start in place of Thibaut Courtois in goal, with Mark Schwarzer taking up a place on the bench, while a familiar face could play against his former side - as Gary Cahill prepares to line-up against the team he played for between 2008 and 2012.

Bolton Wanderers: from: Kenny, Lonergan, Fitzsimons, McNaughton, Moxey, Mills, Ream, Dervite, Taylor, Threlkeld, Maher, Sellers, Spearing, Feeney, Hall, M Davies, Danns, Garvan, Pratley, Vela, Hughes, Chung-Yong, Herd, Lester, Woodland, Kellett, Kamara, Mason, Beckford, Clayton, C Davies, Eaves, Clough, Youngs, Iliev, Knight

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
14 Charlton Athletic 21 26
15 Cambridge United 21 26
16 Bolton Wanderers 21 26
17 AFC Wimbledon 19 24
18 Lincoln City 20 21
View Full Standings >>


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