Arsenal vs Bolton: Match preview – What about a memorable unbeaten run?
Written by Chris on January 9, 2009 20:00
The Premiership is back and it brings a much-needed breath of fresh air from all the transfer rumours which have bombarded us in the last week or so.
Bolton are the first of the “easy” January fixture list and considering the head to head between the two sides when we played at home, and Kevin Nolan’s suspension for the Wanderers, I expect Arsenal to walk through this. Although, as always, one should take this year’s Arsenal side with a pinch of salt, considering how moody the squad has been throughout the season. Still, something inside tells me that tomorrow’s match will bring a win and the start of a memorable unbeaten run.
William Gallas has joined Mikael Silvestre in the “three-week to recover” injury list but luckily, Kolo Toure will make a comeback and will have more than one point to prove. I’m with Wenger on this one ,enough of Kolo’s transfer request, he’s an Arsenal player and can still give a lot to the side. Denilson, Clichy and Alex Song are back as well whilst as mentioned already, Bolton will be without captain Kevin Nolan with defender Gretar Steinsson and Gary Cahill also ruled out.
Having enjoyed back-to-back wins over Portsmouth and Plymouth, the squad is slowly gaining momentum despite the absence of Cesc Fabregas, who let’s face it, never really hit the same form he hit this time last season. In a way, tomorrow’s match will be very significant for Arsene Wenger to really understand where – if needed – a signing will be made. I repeat, all we need is one, maybe two players, to provide more depth in a squad which, as correctly highlighted by one of our readers, suffers a number of injuries due to the fact that rotation rarely takes place.
Many called for this so it would be nice to see Nasri in the Fabregas role, with Vela taking his slot on the left and Diaby on the opposite wing. How can I not include Carlos now that I have his #12 away replica kit on its way from the US? Speak about bias. Anyway, the line-up I would start with is therefore:
Sagna – Toure – Djourou – Clichy
Diaby – Denilson – Nasri – Vela
Van Persie – Adebayor
This is what Bolton’s coach Gary Megson had to say before the match:
We have to become a lot more solid and difficult to score against. There have been games where we haven’t done enough to win, but certainly didn’t deserve to lose. We’ve got to be able to get that into our make-up.
Finally, Arsene Wenger’s comments:
We were not consistent at the start of the season, but in the last six weeks this team are different animals and are really ready to have a go. Apart from the top six or seven, everyone can be involved in relegation. That means the quality has gone up and the difference between the teams has become smaller.
The top teams have dropped more points than ever and that’s not because the top teams are less good but because the other sides in the second part of the table are much better than years before.
With Manchester United and Chelsea clashing on Sunday, one of them or both will drop points, and Liverpool are away at Stoke City, so who knows, maybe it will be a lucky weekend for us. I want to believe so, at least. As always, tune in for team line-ups, streaming links, half time and full time reports, post-match thoughts, video highlights and what the press is writing. And of course, do contribute if you want to by making use of the comment box available at the bottom of the post as it’s always nice to hear your opinion.