Writer: Gavin Cooper
Date:Saturday March 22 2008
22nd March 2008
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.
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."
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.
Has a knack of scoring against us and despite being a very boisterous player; he does possess a fair amount of individual skill.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bolton to stop City from playing but City's quality will tell with a Petrov strike. Bolton 0 - 1 City.
Birmingham City Away on Saturday 29th with a 3pm kick off.
Date:Saturday March 22 2008
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