Now let me see. Where did I put my ‘Bolton’s season will not stand or fall on games against the likes of Citeh’ line?
Yes, I know I say it ad infinitum, as if believing that if I say it often enough it will ring true. But it is true that if you asked any Bolton fan if they expect to get anything other than a pasting from The Council House tomorrow they will probably reply that at least the pies are nice.
Let’s face it, Citeh’s home record this season in the league is startling. No losses, six goals conceded, seven clean sheets. Not the kind of defence that a goal shy strike force would want to go up against. And the goals for column doesn’t make pretty reading either. Thirty seven times they have put the ball in the opposition net at home. That is eight more than we have scored all season. My usual bet came back at 350-1. That’s so high they had to ask me twice if I wanted to place it.
Citeh aren’t unbeatable at home. If you follow the logic of we beat a team who beat them, then as we beat Liverpool then we should be able to beat Citeh. And we played well against them in our opening home game of the season. But this is just clutching at straws.
We’re in for a hiding.
(This, I must admit, is reverse psychology. If I expect the worse, then nothing could be as bad as I believe.)
‘We go into every match thinking we can win. We were terrific against Manchester City at the beginning of the season and lost narrowly 3-2. We showed that afternoon we can be a threat and again on Saturday we will go and try to be positive.‘ St Owen, clutching at those straws.
Manchester City Team News:
Carlos Tevez is back in the country but is apparently two weeks away from starting. Other than this, Citeh have pretty much a full squad to choose from. Which is brilliant.
Player to watch: Mario Balotelli
So, I lined all their names up against a wall, blindfolded myself and threw a dart. Eventually I hit Balotelli, a player not chosen for his game, although he does play good game, but just for being Balotelli. Mad, bad, dangerous, funny, charismatic, sullen, fashion icon, tester of outdoor fireworks whilst indoors, Balotelli is one of those players who can blow hot and cold in the same move, never mind the same game. Yes, he is a bit of a tit, but brings a smile to your face most of the time.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Mark Davies is still a doubt with his hamstring as are SKD with his knee and Steinsson with his calf. Dedryck Boyata is inelligible to play against his parent club, not that he would have.
That hit man still hasn’t taken out Darren Pratley.
Player to watch: Tim Ream
Welcome to the big time, big fella. First Chelsea and now Citeh certainly hasn’t been the easiest of starts for the American international and, as admirably as he played alongside David Wheater last weekend, this will be a much sterner test. The movement of Citeh’s forward line can tie the best in knots and Ream will have to be at his best to deal with them.
Match Facts & Stats
It’s 45-41 to Citeh in the league with The Blues holding a 32-13 lead at their place since the teams first met at Hyde Road in 1900.
The last time Bolton took anything away from Eastland was in 2006 when two Nicolas Anelka goals took three points from his former club. Since then four games have brought no points and no goals in the last three.
Bodes well, doesn’t it?
Bolton’s top scorer in the fixture is Joe Smith with nineteen. In the Premier League it is Kevin Nolan with four.
Mark Clattenburg. I don’t think I need to say anything else.
Bolton to secure a famous 2-0 win and blow the title race and relegation battle wide open.
Then I woke up.
QPR to kick off the easiest part of the season at The Reebok next weekend.