Gary Speed makes his 500th Premiership appearance this Saturday but the three points for a win over West Ham will be all he’s thinking about.
Bolton have had a bad spell punctuated by the great win over Arsenal and a close match against Chelsea. This will be one that Big Sam will insist that we have to win.
West Ham have their own problems. Even at this stage of the season, the word ‘relegation’ won’t be far from everyone’s lips. Given their superb run last year, they’ll be disappointed unless the season starts getting much, much better. Alan Pardew’s under extreme pressue.
Big Sam was realistic when reviewing Bolton’s form.
‘It is a disappointing sequence of results with just four points from a possible 21 available.
‘There are some excuses for the players in terms of the physical demands of playing Arsenal and Chelsea and what they gave to try to beat those clubs.
‘But we are struggling at the moment to produce our best football and we need to turn things around.’
Alan Pardew was, however, getting a few of his excuses in beforehand.
‘If ever there was an examination of spirit then Bolton will provide it. I have to pick a team out that will cope with the way they play.
‘They are very physical, a bit like Wigan, and we didn’t cope with the very well at all.
‘It will be a test of our character to see if we can bounce back from the defeat we suffered in our last game.’
Anyone who mention’s Bolton’s physical side of the game has already been out-psyched, in my humble opinion.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Gardner’s back in contention. Fortune’s injured and Ben Haim’s suspended.
Team from: Jaaskelainen, Hunt, Meite, Faye, Pedersen, Gardner, Fortune, Speed, Campo, Nolan, Giannakopoulos, Diouf, Anelka, Davies, Vaz Te, Al Habsi, Tal, Fojut.
Player to watch: Anelka
This is a match he needs to score in.
West Ham United Team News:
West Ham’s Anton Ferdinand is a doubt with an ankle injury with fellow central defender Danny Gabbidon (hamstring) still out.
The Hammers will also make a late check on midfielder Javier Mascherano after he suffered a knock in training.
Team from: Green, Spector, Ferdinand, Konchesky, Benayoun, Mullins, Reo-Coker, Etherington, Sheringham, Harewood, Cole, Zamora, Tevez, McCartney, Mascherano, Kiraly, Bowyer.
Player to watch: Tevez
He’s got to do something sometime, hasn’t he?
Match Facts & Stats
West Ham’s record at Bolton is poor.
League: Bolton 16 wins, West Ham 3, Draws 4
In the Premiership, Bolton have won 3, West Ham have won 1 and there was a drawn game too.
Howard Webb – he likes his cards!
2-1 Bolton. Calms the nerves a bit and sends us sky-rocketing up the table!
Bolton: Easy three points away at boring Villa!
West Ham: Man United at home – stay in and watch a film instead.