CHELSEA vs Bolton: Preview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Date: Saturday, 25 February

Kickoff: 15.00 GMT

 

I’ve come to realise that anyone writing previews this season deserves a bloody medal for sheer endurance, so obviously I’m putting myself forward for services well and truly rendered to the cause!

Anyway, since I am still plugging away at them regardless, what can I say about today’s game against Bolton? Well, their away form has seen 4 of their 6 league wins happen on the road, so with us failing to get a win from our last 5 games, don’t be surprised to see half of them playing with a semi at the prospect of making it 5 out of 7.

Andre Villas-Boas, on the other hand, will either be seen in his ‘crouching dragon’ pose or curled up in the foetal position somewhere under the dug-out, depending on the response he gets after his toughest week yet.

 

 

MANAGERS’ VIEWS

Following a rotten week that has seen us draw against Birmingham and lose to Napoli, Andre Villas-Boas says “Speculation will continue as the results don’t happen.  We have to solve these mistakes at the back. We need this concentration right and this efficiency right, for sure.  At the moment, without John, a very important player for the team, we have suffered a lot of goals recently.  We had improved a lot at the beginning of January, so we have missed John. But we have full belief in these players and we have to continue to work with them to get it right.”

Bolton manager Owen Coyle meanwhile, says of his opposing manager today “It takes time to put your plans in place, particularly at a club of that size.  Rome, as they say, wasn’t built in a day.  He knows his own mind. He won’t be influenced by what others have got to say. He will believe in what he is doing and how to reach that end game.  Andre has come in and wants to put his own stamp on the club and has his own bits of the jigsaw to put in place. That takes time which is not readily available.  The difficulty is when the club is not in among the trophies, it is deemed that something has gone badly wrong.  But I’m sure Roman Abramovich bought into that when Andre told him his ideas and, in time, that will show to be the case.

Sometimes you have to put the right building blocks in place and that is what he [Villas-Boas] has done.  He has looked at Chelsea and thought, ‘how can I progress them for years to come?’  I can understand that, we have had to do that a bit ourselves. He will have looked at it in a similar way. Sometimes within that there are bad moments to get to the end game and you have to make tough decisions.  I know his mind. He won’t be afraid to make them.”

 

 

SQUAD NEWS

For Chelsea, JT (knee) and Jose Bosingwa (muscle injury) are both out. Juan Mata is ok to play despite suffering a suspected broken finger against Napoli, with Torres also expected to be fit after missing training through illness.  Ashley Cole is likely to return after being left out of the starting XI against Napoli and Romeu is available again having let us know on twitter injury has been the reason for his recent disappearance.

For Bolton, Joe Riley (foot) is a doubt and Kevin Davies (knee) is unlikely be ready for this one either.  Mark Davies (hamstring) on the other hand, is expected to be fit and Marvin Sordell is eligible for selection again after being cup-tied last weekend.

 

 

TEAMS

CHELSEA (from): Cech, Ivanovic, Cole, Luiz, Cahill, Hutchinson, Bertrand, Romeu, Mikel, Essien, Ramires, Lampard, Mata, Malouda, Meireles, Torres, Sturridge, Lukaku, Turnbull.

BOLTON (from): Bogdan, Jaaskelainen, Ream, Wheater, Boyata, Knight, Steinsson, Robinson, Ricketts, Riley, M Davies, Pratley, Reo-Coker, Muamba, Eagles, Miyaichi, Petrov, Klasnic, Tuncay, Ngog, Blake, Davis, Sordell.

 

 

LAST MEETING

Bolton 1-5 Chelsea (2nd October 2011)

 

 

PREDICTION

This is one of them fixtures I’ve come to hate this season, mainly because there’s yet another ‘record’ attached to it – and we seem to have done everything but beg for those to be broken lately. But anyway, if you’re looking for positives going into this one, we haven’t lost to Bolton since 2003. Add to that the comparison with our ‘bad moment’ under Carlo Ancelotti where we went 6 games without a win last season – and then ended that run against today’s opponents – and you might feel a little less edgy about our 5 games without a win under AVB ahead of this game. Oh and don’t forget Frank Lampard, who had a point to prove earlier in the season, scored a hattrick against Bolton last time out. That was October though and we’ve had a long, cold winter of discontent since then, so I’ll be expecting yet another ‘record’ to fall by the wayside even if I’m told it’ll be 3-1 with Bolton’s goal generously donated by Cahill.

One Response to “CHELSEA vs Bolton: Preview”

  1. Chelsea we win 3 – 1 Bolton