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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Bolton Wanderers FC vs. Manchester City FC

Reebok Stadium

22nd March 2008


Bolton v Manchester City

With Bolton slipping into the relegation zone the pressure is really mounting on Gary Megson to get a result today; especially as this is against a side that they feel they can get something out of. However this City side now have Martin Petrov back in their team and will be chomping at the bit to prove how much he was missed. City also showed the first time since Bolton at home to come from behind and win against Tottenham Hotspur and keep City in the hunt for a top six finish.

Vital Quotes:

Sven talks about Bolton: "I`m expecting a battle, in the footballing sense of course, as they are an aggressive side. I thought they played well against United on Wednesday, and United only scored from two set pieces.

"Bolton can put good combinations together and have good footballers throughout, so I know what to expect on Saturday.

"We`ll respect them, I`m expecting that they won`t let us play our game or allow us the time we would want - but that`s normal. We know that they are very good at set pieces themselves, they are good at long thrown-ins and corners because they are a very big and strong team. I`m sure that`s what we can expect from them on Saturday."

Bolton Wanderers FC Team News:

Key duo Kevin Nolan and Gary Cahill could both return for Bolton against City after sitting out their 2-0 midweek defeat to leaders Manchester United.

Midfielder and skipper Nolan is suffering from a persistent back injury while centre-back Cahill is still nursing a bruised foot suffered against The Latics.

Gavin McCann is another doubt for Wanderers after sustaining a calf injury at Old Trafford, and Megson rates the defensive midfielder's chances as 50/50.

Goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen is almost certainly out for the rest of the campaign with a back problem, so Ali Al Habsi is set to continue to deputise between the sticks.

Player to watch: El Hadji Diouf

Has a knack of scoring against us and despite being a very boisterous player; he does possess a fair amount of individual skill.

Manchester City FC Team News:

City expect striker Benjani to be fit for their trip to the Premier League strugglers.

The Zimbabwe international has been troubled by a minor hamstring problem this week but he should be able to train today as normal.

Bulgaria international forward Martin Petrov returns from suspension but experienced German midfielder Dietmar Hamann is still missing as he completes his two-match ban.

Captain Richard Dunne is fine to play on despite a recent shin wound but follow defenders Michael Ball and Micah Richards (both knee) remain on the sidelines.

Player to watch: Martin Petrov

He is ripe for terrorizing down that left wing and causing Bolton's defence all sorts of problems after his three game suspension lay off.

Match Facts & Stats

The stats between the two clubs are almost identical home and away; but prior to the Premiership Bolton had a good record at Burnden Park. City are hoping to complete their second Premier League double over Bolton, and first since 2003-04 when they registered a 9-3 aggregate; it would also be their third double of the season with two Uniteds, Newcastle and Manchester being the others.

Ref Watch:

Andre Marriner - a fairly decent ref towards City. This will be his second game; Arsenal at home being the first. This is also Bolton's second game with him where they drew at home with Tottenham.

Match Prediction:

Bolton to stop City from playing but City's quality will tell with a Petrov strike. Bolton 0 - 1 City.

Next Fixtures:

Birmingham City Away on Saturday 29th with a 3pm kick off.

The journalist

Writer: Gavin Cooper  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday March 22 2008

Time: 2:09PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I see Elano is on the bench, no doubt too cold for him at the draughty Reebok.
Report Abuse
22/03/2008 14:29:00
I don't understand today's team selection. Surely Castillo needs a good run. Elano also played in the Ukraine with no problems.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
22/03/2008 15:56:00
What a missed opportunity. We are giving too many sides far too much respect when we should be going for the jugular. I've been saying for a week or two that Villa, Pompey and Everton are due a bad run. Villa and Pompey definitely wobbling. Everton can make UEFA qualification all but safe if they beat the Hammers.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
22/03/2008 16:58:00
JB, Please make a poll about sevn if the fans Satisfied or not with his plans.
city 81
Report Abuse
22/03/2008 17:26:00
Thanks for your suggestion city 81. I'll put it on line once the MOTM award vote is finished.
Johnny Baguette
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22/03/2008 17:39:00
I suppose a point was the most we could have hoped for, at least we didn't lose it in the last minute....from a satisfied Sven fan.
Report Abuse
22/03/2008 18:26:00
Sven has a point when he says that this point could be a vital point come the final reckoning (er, point taken!) But the chronic lack of goals continues. We've had it for goal difference if it came down to that and ourselves, Blackburn, Pompey and Villa have to hold out for an Everton cave in.
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
22/03/2008 18:47:00
Pressure building on Everton. Defeat at Fulham, now unable to beat West Ham. Outside their formality against Derby, they still have to play Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal. There's a tasty Villa Euro clash and Brum and Newcastle fighting for their lives. Following their Euro exit any of those mickeys who were on here forecasting world domination still as confident?
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
22/03/2008 19:17:00
Thank you JB, Really this week was good chance to approaching & move away, WE DONT WANT STAY TO ANOTHRE YEAR TO ACHIEVE EUROPE.
city 81
Report Abuse
22/03/2008 20:34:00
Will we get Berbatov ????
Report Abuse
23/03/2008 09:17:00
At 35 mill alphie not without a few more class additions. Frank says he is not going to spend loads of money, svennis says he is.
Buzz Lightyear
Report Abuse
23/03/2008 22:33:00
This Charming Man Kevin Nolan after scything down Vedran Corluka: "I felt Corluka made a bit of a meal of it. That's what these foreign lads do when they come over here. We just get up and get on it with it - that's the English mentality - but from him I sort of expected it."
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
24/03/2008 09:55:00
Gelson certainly didn't make a meal of it when he was scythed down a few weeks ago, that makes a mockery of his comments.
Report Abuse
24/03/2008 11:43:00
That was that Stephen Hunt again wasn't it?
Johnny Baguette
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24/03/2008 13:00:00
0-0 an upset i would say migthy bolotn versus city boy never saw them getting anything
ozanne park rangers
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25/03/2008 05:48:00
Ah, we're just lulling our 7 remaining opponents into a false sense of City have given up security, opr! And suddenly we'll unleash a tidal wave of attacking football and goals!
Johnny Baguette
Report Abuse
25/03/2008 06:27:00
Wow...order the open top buses,Citeh are only 24 points behind United and are safe from relegation..time to party!!!
Report Abuse
26/03/2008 15:50:00
...AND, java, we are one win away from equalling our all time record Premier Legue points haul!
Johnny Baguette
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26/03/2008 17:10:00
That's because Citeh are a massive club :).
Report Abuse
26/03/2008 19:08:00
Alphieblues...will ye get Berbatov what???? I think the reason he was unhappy at Spurs is because he wanted to play in a team that are challenging for honours every season. Why would he go to Citeh?
Report Abuse
26/03/2008 19:30:00
java....Who rattled your cage !!!!
Report Abuse
26/03/2008 21:13:00
Just making a point.I didn't realise I had to live in Dreamland :)
Report Abuse
27/03/2008 00:05:00

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