Bolton vs Arsenal: Preview

Wednesday 8pm, The Reebok Stadium

Bolton 4.00 Draw 3.00 Arsenal 1.66

All odds courtesy of Bet365.

Of Bolton’s new signings, only Tim Ream is eligible to play, with Ryo Miyaichi ineligible against his parent club and Marvin Sordell not registered in time.

Arsenal have Johan Djourou available in spite of a groin strain, while Mikel Arteta and Thierry Henry are both available - Bacary Sagna is available, but unlikely to start.

If Arsenal played like they did for the first fifteen minutes of the second half on Sunday, they wouldn’t be six points behind fourth place. But, so temperamental have Arsenal become that’s there’s really no predicting what side of their personality will show up in Lancashire tonight. Now that we’re in February, Arsene Wenger really needs to start closing the gap on Chelsea before the Champions League becomes unachievable. Must win here.

Bolton are average but improving. Once Marvin Sordell is in the team expect them to be much more spritely upfront, but they’ve shown lately that they’re capable of disrupting opponents through sheer persistence. A fast start here and Owen Coyle’s side can make this a very uncomfortable night for an opponent who’ve struggled defensively all season - and who are still without either first-choice fullback. The latter point is particularly pertinent tonight, as Martin Petrov(f/g) is one of the strengths of this Bolton side. You know how the logic goes, if an ageing Ryan Giggs can cause Arsenal so many problems then…

Gervinho’s absence has meant that the attacking onus on Robin Van Persie(f/g) has intensified, and so if Arsenal are to take points from the game he needs to continue where he left off against Manchester United. Not quite a one-man team, but not that far away from it. The bright spot in the side is obviously Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain(f/g) - partly because we love to overhype a young English player in this country, but also rightly, as he brings a directness and decisiveness that Theo Walcott(f/g) has never provided.

Arsenal to get turned over, Bolton 2-1.

Bolton 4.00 Draw 3.00 Arsenal 1.66

Posted on February 1, 2012, in Game Preview and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.

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