Friday, 5 December 2008

Bolton v Chelsea Premier League Preview: Can The In-Form Trotters End The Blues 100% Away Record?


Bolton Wanderers play, Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Chelsea in the Premier League at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday.

Gary Megson’s Trotters will go into this clash with Chelsea full of confidence on the back of two successive away wins, with Bolton beating Middlesbrough 3-1 at the Riverside Stadium and following that up with a 4-1 against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Bolton, have won four of their last five games in the Premiership, with a defeat against Liverpool at the Reebok the only blemish in recent times after a poor run of form before, which the Trotters only won one of nine matches. Bolton, are 9th in the Premier League, but have been better away from home so far this season.

Despite losing at Stamford Bridge for the second time this season against Arsenal last week, Scolari’s Blues have a 100% away record this season, winning all seven matches in the Premiership so far this season on their travels. Chelsea have only conceded one goal away from home this season and are still just a point behind Liverpool in the Premier League occupying 2nd place and have a far superior goal difference to the Merseyside club.

Bolton are unable to call on Ricardo Vaz Te, who is out for another seven months with a knee injury, while Megson will give Joey O’Brien a late fitness test on a thigh muscle strain ahead of the clash with the Blues. Other than that Bolton have a full compliment of players to choose from.

Didier Drogba will miss the trip to the Reebok as the Ivory Coast International is serving the last game of a three-match suspension. Joe Cole along with defenders Ricardo Carvalho and Juliano Belletti could be available for Scolari if they shake off injuries in time, while long-term injury Michael Essien is out of the clash with the Trotters along Franco Di Santo, who has a hamstring injury.

Bolton Wanderers: (from) Jaaskelainen, Hunt, Samuel, Nolan, Cahill, Muamba, J O’Brien, Taylor, Elmander, Smolarek, Gardner, Walker, Davies, Steinsson, Riga, McCann, Shittu, Bogdan, Cohen, Al Habsi, Sinclair, Fojut, Harsanyi, A O’Brien, Sissons

Chelsea: (from) Cech, A Cole, Ivanovic, Terry, Carvalho, Bosingwa, Lampard, Ballack, Mikel, Malouda, J Cole, Anelka, Cudicini, Alex, Kalou, Ferreira, Bridge, Mineiro, Deco, Sinclair, Belletti, Hilario, Stoch, Woods

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