Friday, 12 December 2008

Villa v Bolton Premier League Preview: Can The Trotters Halt The Villans Charge Into Top Four?


Aston Villa play, Gary Megson’s Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League at Villa Park on Saturday.

Martin O’Neill’s Villa side go into this match with Bolton on a 4-game unbeaten run, which has seen the Villans win at the Emirates Stadium against Arsenal and more recently last Sunday at 3-2 at Goodison Park against Everton. Despite this run, Villa have failed to win their last three games at Villa Park, with O’Neill’s side drawing 0-0 against both Manchester United and Fulham and losing 2-1 to Middlesbrough. However, the Midlands club are 5th in the Premiership and just a point off the Champions League places.

The Trotters might have lost last weekend 2-0 to Chelsea at the Reebok Stadium, but have still won 4 of their last 6 matches in the Premiership, with wins against Sunderland, Manchester City, Middlesbrough and Hull City. Megson will be buoyed that Wanderers have taken more points away from home so far this season, but concerned about Bolton’s form at the Reebok, usually a hard place to get a result. With Bolton’s eratic home form seeing them only mid-table in 10th place in the Premier League.

Aston Villa, will be without striker John Carew, who has a back injury, while O’Neill is still unable to call on long-term absentee Wilfred Bouma, who is still six weeks away from a return to the Villans side with an ankle injury.

Gary Megson has almost a full compliment of players to choose from ahead of the trip to Villa Park, with only long-term injury Ricardo Vaz Te (knee) unavailable for the Trotters.

Aston Villa: (from) Friedel, Shorey, L Young, Laursen, Davies, Sidwell, Barry, Milner, A Young, Agbonlahor, Petrov, Delfouneso, Knight, Salifou, Reo-Coker, Guzan, Cuellar. Gardner, Osbourne

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

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