Arsenal v Bolton: The Gunners Play Their Bogey-team At Home



The Emirates, North London
Sep 11, 2010, 7:25 PM IST

Having never beaten Arsenal since 1962, The Trotters will try to do the Improbable when Owen Coyle’s team visit The Emirates stadium this weekend. Bolton’s manager Coyle, who wants to change the image of the football club, would love to get some points out of this fixture, considering they are surprisingly seated 5th in the table, presently. Arsenal, on the other hand, like their opponents, are undefeated in the league and would want to go top of the table with other title-aspiring teams having dicey fixtures over the weekend.

Trying to undo Megson’s work?

Bolton Injury Updates:

Jussi Jaaskeleinen, 13 years at Bolton, will be starting to serve his three-match ban as he was sent off against Birmingham. In his absence, inexperienced Hungarian keeper Bogdan will do the ‘keeping’ duties. Striker Ivan Klasnic might be short for the trip to The Emirates, as he joined training a few days back, after recovering from a thigh injury. Apart from them, Bolton have a injury-free set of players to choose from, to play against Arsenal.

Arsenal Injury Updates:

As per latest updates, Arsenal would be without their ace Center Back, Thomas Vermaelen, who has suffered an Achilles injury. In his absence, experienced French International Sebastien Squillaci is expected to make his Arsenal debut. Theo Walcott, who was taken off 13 minutes into the England-Switzerland international in mid-week, misses due to the ankle injury which will keep him out of action for 4 to 6 weeks. A similar time-line has been labeled on Robin Van Persie, who injured himself in Arsenal’s last league game. Czech International Thomas Rosicky is expected to fill in for Theo while Chamakh will play up-front as he has been doing so far in this season. Meanwhile, Samir Nasri is back in contention for the match and may find his place in the bench.

17th significant injury in Arsenal colors

Arsenal Possible Starting Line-up: Almunia, Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy, Song, Diaby, Cesc, Rosicky, Arshavin, Chamakh

Bolton Possible Starting Line-up: Bogdan, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Holden, Lee, Muamba, Blake, Petrov, Davies.

Thomas Rosicky (Arsenal)

The Little Mozart had a fantastic start to the season, having being in the middle of ‘everything good’ in the first two matches for Arsenal. He was not in the starting line-up against Blackburn, but will return to first-team action against Bolton in the absence of Theo. Along with Cesc, he would want to create a flurry of chances for Chamakh and co.

TheHardTackle’s PREDICTION:

Arsenal 3-1 Bolton


A little bit of ‘tasty’ history: 29th March, 2008: Arsenal were 2-0 down with Abou Diaby sent off in the 31st minute at The Reebok stadium. With heavy rains and 10 men, it looked like an impossible task for the Arsenal team to come from Bolton with anything at all, never-mind a win. On the hour mark, from a Cesc Fabregas corner, William Gallas volleyed in unmarked to reduce the lead to one goal. Six minutes later, Alex Hleb was brought down in the box and Robin Van Persie equalised from the penalty spot. 2-2 it was and Bolton started panicking. In the final minutes of the game, a Cesc Fabregas drive was deflected twice as it scrambled home after taking a touch of Samuel. Arsenal, at Reebok, with 10 men, under torrential rain-fall, against a Gary Megson side, secured three points with a victory to remember forever.

An unforgettable encounter..