Writer: Nick Simmonett
Date:Saturday October 20 2007
Arsenal will be hoping that the recent unrest behind the scenes at Bolton will have an impact on them when they come to Arsenal on Saturday.
With the loss of two managers and a director of football in just a few months, Bolton's future is anything but secure. Espically considering only Derby site below them in the league.
With injuries to star strikers on both sides, the game is even more likely to be battled out in midfield. With Boltn 'hard man' (thug) Kevin Nolan suffering a massive dip in form, it's hard to see where Bolton's goals will come from.
Arsenal on the other hand have the in-form Adebayor and Fabregas to call up on in the absence of Van Persie.
Bolton's recent unrest behind the scenes has clearly had some sort of impact on their form. A loss for Bolton could see them drop to the foot of the table.
Arsenal on the other hand, could be 5 points clear of United by the time they face Aston Villa this evening. If United were to lose that game, Arsenal would be five points clear with a game in hand. But on the flip side, if Arsenal were to lose, and United win, the Gunners would find themselves sitting second in the league.
Bolton Last five: P5 W0 L3 D2
Arsenal last five: P5 W5 D0 L0
Arsene Wenger admits he was suprised to see manager Sammy Lee get the sack so soon into his career at Bolton: 'I was surprised to see him go because he had just started eight games.
"For a manager who had just started that is not a long time to show what your abilities are.
'Personally I rate him. He is a football man who knows his job. But you know how football is, one or two games are surprisingly lost and then straight away some people lose confidence."
Arsene also went on to talk about the new Bust of him that was revealed at the AGM:
"It`s a very nice gesture yes, an acknowledgement that I try to do my job well but it will not change my attitude in any way.
"I feel I know that what is important is not what is behind me but what is in front of me. That`s what top-level competition is about.
"It`s like a player saying 'for what I`ve done for this club I deserve to play`. It`s not true. You deserve to play for your performance in the last game and I deserve to be in charge for the performance of my team in the last game.
"It would mean more to leave the legacy of a winning team - a championship-winning team - than any individual honours."
The biggest piece of news is that Robin Van Persie will be missing for a month, but I'm sure you all know that by now. He has also been joined on the treatment table by Phill Senderos, who is expected to be out for two weeks.
The good news is that skipper Wiliam Gallas is back for Arsenal, along with Tomas Rosicky.
Despite returning to fitness, Jens Lehmann has been ommited from the squad by Arsene Wenger in favour of Fabianski.
Arsene brought the Togo man in for these kinds of games above all others. His power, presence and energy will be key to breaking Bolton down.
Both Anelka and Christian Wilhelmsson are doubts for Bolton after picking up a thigh injury and an ankle problem respectivley.
Kevin Nolan could return after being dropped by Sammy Lee for recent matches.
The Spainard has got big game experience after playing for Real Madrid earlier in his career.
He'll look to nulify the threat of Cesc Fabregas, so Flamini will have to do a job on him to allow Cesc to work his magic in midfield.
Mr Mike Riley will take charge of this one. The biggest worry will be whether or not he has his United shirt on under his refereeing kit. If so, he may well send off Arsenal's entire team for attempting to play football.
I'm never confident about playing Bolton. They'll give us a rough ride, but spirits are low at Bolton and with their prized asset a doubt it looks like being a bad day for them. 4-0 Arsenal with a brace from Eduardo and a goal each for Rosicky and Fabregas.
Sorry the preview is late. My computer decided to freeze last night when I got to the prediction.
Date:Saturday October 20 2007
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|1. Man City||6||6||0||0||+13||18|
|6. Man Utd||6||4||0||2||+5||12|
|7. Crystal Palace||6||3||1||2||+3||10|
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