Saturday, 20 August 2011

Match Preview: Bolton Wanderers vs Manchester City

Competition: Premier League
Time: 4pm GMT
Venue: Reebok Stadium

Both sides come into this game on the back of 4-0 victories against newly promoted sides. Bolton grabbed their impressive victory away to QPR whilst City beat Swansea at home. Both performances were just as good as each other, but you’d be silly to underestimate City’s chances in this game. The introduction of Sergio Aguero on Monday night gave a rude awakening to the whole of the Premier League, as the Argentinean made Swansea’s defence look like a Sunday League team. Bolton still have home advantage though, and if they want a result in this game you imagine they will have to give a committed performance and take no prisoners. Below is a video of our last meeting with Bolton, which was coincidently our last Premier League away match (We apologise for just having Dzeko's goal, we couldn't find another video!)

The Sky Blue View:

Is Aguero the final piece of the
Key Player?
Archie: David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Nigel De Jong (if he starts, possible he doesn't due to the injury picked up against Swansea). I've gone for these 3 as they all have a massive influence on the team. David Silva injects creativity, Aguero adds flair and De Jong keeps us solid. 

Aaron: If he starts, I can see Sergio Aguero being the main man, followed closely by David Silva. It is hard to choose a key player after last weeks performance, but Aguero is a player who can clearly change games with a click of his fingers, and he will be instrumental in providing City with a constant goal threat tomorrow. 

Predicted City lineup?

            Richards  Kompany   Lescott    Clichy
                           De Jong        Barry
              Silva            Yaya Toure            Aguero

Aaron:                           Hart

            Richards  Kompany   Lescott    Clichy
                        Yaya Toure        Barry
              Johnson            Aguero            Silva

Davies is sure to pose a problem for us
as per usual
Most dangerous Bolton player?
Archie: Klasnic or Davies. Both men have potential to cause Manchester City problems at the back. I am sure that a lot of balls will come in from Petrov and Eagles towards Davies and his heading ability could cause some problems.

Aaron: As ever, Kevin Davies will give our defenders a constant threat with his height and strength giving defenders of every side a problem week in week out. I also rate Gary Cahill as a player, and he will be key to trying to stop Aguero and co from scoring for fun. 

Archie: Bolton 1 - 3 Manchester City

Aaron: A comfortable 2-0 City win.

“and in the other corner...”
This week, we asked a Bolton fan who posts on the forum on “The Wanderer” website ( to answer some questions. He has asked us to refer to him using his forum name, so please welcome Bolton fan Lofthouse Lower.

TSBV: Hi there!  Thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. Before we start, it is now your eleventh consecutive season playing in what is said to be the world’s greatest league. How proud are you of this remarkable achievement, considering the size of your club compared to some around you and in the league below?
Lofthouse Lower: My first game was Brighton at home about 20 years ago in the old Division Three - so to see the progress made over the last 15 years has been magical. We have done things differently to City, we built something over time using prudent management mixed with calculated risk - the two don't often work, but we've been lucky and we're punching above our weight again. That said, we're all not daft enough to think that this will last forever, but we trust in the management.

Coyle has been a big improvement upon previous
manager Gary Megson
TSBV: Of course, we can’t forget the disastrous end you had to last season, but do you think Owen Coyle did a good job in his first full season as manager?
LL: Thanks for reminding me about the end....thanks. I think it was a great season full of drama, typical Bolton. Had you, in August, offered me a season in which we'd be in the top ten for the majority, plus the trip to Wembley then I would have been delighted. The end did put a downer on it, but that's only to be expected considering what went before. The loss of Holden and the thrashing from Stoke has now, hopefully, been accepted and beaten by the team and we'll see Coyle continuing to do well with us.

TSBV: Now to this season. How happy are you with the start you’ve made to this season, especially beating QPR last weekend in such a convincing manner? And what do you make of the players that Coyle has brought to the club?
LL: Delighted. Didn't think we'd get the win, never mind 4-0. It was typical Bolton away from home - get battered for the first 15min, but then slowly begin to get into the game. In the end we ran out comfortable winners but I'd temper the optimism by reminding everyone that we beat a team largely made up of veterans from the Championship rather than an experienced Premiership outfit.....but a win is a win.
Signings have been great so far - really happy with Reo-Coker, moderately happy with Eagles and Mears and again delighted with Tuncay. The two big signings show a lot of ambition and a good level of investment from the management, but I think it also shows how we're seen as a team that players want to be part of - the successes of the Sturridge and Wilshere loan deals prove that. We're a good team who play good football in a good atmosphere, which is a good selling point to prospective signings.

TSBV: In our Premier League preview which was posted a couple of weeks ago, we had you down as finishing an impressive seventh. Do you think that this is a realistic aim?
LL: Seventh is wildly optimistic. Personally I’d be delighted with anything eleventh and upwards

TSBV: And now a question we ask everyone... what are your views about City at the moment? And what do you rate of our chances this season?
LL: Looking forward to it. Am a big fan of seeing the best players play, and so to see the likes of  Silva, Yaya Toure, Aguero, Tevez, Kompany and Super Mario will be a big thrill. That said I hope we absolutely stuff you. I don't mind City. I have no negative opinion of you whatsoever and I wish you luck in breaking the stranglehold of the boring top 4 cartel. Don't like your ground though.

TSBV: Now to focus on the match! Who do you believe will be your key player in Sunday’s encounter and why?
LL: Zat Knight. Probably the poorest centre half I've seen play for us in the modern era. Someone like Dzeko or Tevez or that new lad can destroy him. Easily. He's rubbish. He's nearly seven feet tall yet is worse in the air than Shaun Wright Phillips. Terrible. He's slow, languid, poor on the ball, has lapses in concentration and worse still he has two years left on his contract so he's not going anywhere soon. Awful. (Obviously, he likes his sarcastic tone!)

TSBV: And what is your predicted lineup?
Steinsson      Cahill     Knight        Robinson
Eagles     Muamba    Reo-Coker     Petrov     
                              Klasnic      Davies     

TSBV: What about the biggest threat? Who do you think will pose the biggest danger to Bolton on Sunday and why?
LL: Ourselves. Always ourselves.

TSBV: And finally, what is your prediction for the game?
LL: Bolton win, 2-0

Thanks for answering the questions Lofthouse Lower, even if your sarcasm did shine through at times!

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