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Bolton vs. Arsenal

Reebok Stadium



Bolton v. Arsenal

For the second consecutive weekend Arsenal travels to the Northwest of England, this time for their match against Bolton. On paper this Saturday evenings game should be a walk in the park for the Gunners, but as displayed midweek in the Ukraine Arsenal has a knack at making the easy games difficult. Arsene has hinted that he could ring the changes in his lineup this weekend to give the players that have traveled so much these past two week a much need break. But I can't see too many bench players having a big role in this game with the Carling Cup tie against Sheffield United coming up on Wednesday.

Arsenal will need to play like they did in the second half of last years corresponding fixture. A repeat preformance of the first half will most likely doom the team in their quest of obtaining all three points.

Vital Quotes:

Arsene Wenger has sung the praises of his captain, Gallas, after his late show against Kyiv. 'There is no coincidence in football,' Wenger told

'He was a striker when he was young and you can see he has the nose to be where you have to be at the right moment. If it is a corner or a deflected goal, William Gallas is there. He has kept something of a striker in him and that comes out in these desperate situations.

The biggest quality of a striker who scores goals is exceptional skill or through anticipation and understanding where the ball will be. William anticipates and attacks the space.

His goals can make the difference. I am convinced that in a game like Kiev it was an important goal, because coming back from Kiev with a defeat or with a point, it is a completely different perspective for the Champions League and the game at Bolton.'

Wenger is also wary of this physical treatment his young starlet, Theo Walcott, is receiving. "It is all in the rulebook [and] if you allow the first bad tackle then the second one becomes difficult for the referee.

"As I say we do not want any special protection but I thought Wednesday night, for example, the target was not the ball. If a guy plays hard it is down to Theo to deal with it. But if the guy targets Theo as an individual, he has to be punished."

Bolton manager, Gary Megson, has spoken of his concerns about playing a Champions League side. 'All of the matches are a test but there are four clubs in this country who are exceptional in a league that's very strong, and Arsenal are one of them.

'When you look right the way through, there is quality in every position, pace in every position and a great deal of know how.

'These are the games where nobody expects you to do anything, but from my own point of view, I do expect the players to do something.

'If we play like we can and are on the front foot then we can give anybody a game.'

Bolton Team News:

Good news for Arsenal is that Bolton will be without Matt Taylor, a player who seems to always score against the Gunners when he plays us. Taylor has broken toe, while Gary Cahill is also out with a suspension. Swedish striker Johan Elmander is likely to make a return though.

Player to watch: Fabrice Muamba

The England U-21 midfielder will be facing his former club, who he made two appearances for, and he will be the key man for Bolton in stopping the Arsenal attack. His ability to shut down Fabregas' creative play might be the difference in whether Bolton get anything out of this game.

Arsenal Team News:

Arsenal have nobody returning from injuries this week, but nobody new has been added to the sick list. Rosicky has indeed suffered a setback in his return process but this is normal in returning from his injury. When he is finally back, fit and ready to go for this club, then I am sure he will remind everyone how important he can be to this team. Eduardo is also on a good recovery path according to Wenger. Diaby, Nasri, Silvestre, and Bischoff are all still out.

Player to watch: Robin van Persie

Its a tough choice here, nobody really stood out in my mind of having a big impact in this game, but you can never really go wrong with this guy. He did well against Blackburn, and I can see him causing the same sort of trouble in this match

Match Facts & Stats

Arsenal have scored twice as many goals as Bolton in the first three games and the Gunners also have the best defensive record in the league so far.

Jussi Jaaskelainen will be making his 350th Premier League appearance.

Denilson will be making his 50th appearance for Arsenal.

Ref Watch:

Steve Bennent will be the head official for this game. So far this campaign he has handled three BPL games, handing out 11 yellows and no reds.

Match Prediction:

Again I cant see Bolton causing us many problems, but Ive made that statement before, most recently, midweek versus Dynamo Kyiv. It must be the ever optimist in me. Im going to go with a 3-0 Arsenal victory with Ade getting on the score sheet twice and van Persie adding another one.

Next Fixtures:

After three straight away games, we get three straight home games to follow.

23/9-- Sheffield United(H)-- Carling Cup

27/9-- Hull City(H)-- Premier League

30/9-- FC Porto(H)-- Champions League

Sorry for the lateness of this preview. It has been a hectic week for me with Hurricane Ike hitting my hometown. I drove down there for the storm because I'm a meteorology major and also to help my parents clean up. In total I have driven about 2250 km in the past week! And top it all off, I had alot of work in my studies this week too.

Here's to Arsenal ending the week on a high note for myself!

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The Journalist

Writer: Brice Coffer Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday September 20 2008

Time: 8:16AM

Your Comments

Glad to hear to were safe after Big Ike hit, hope your parents did not lose too much due to Ike. Hope you have a better time next week. Regarding the match I hope we will return to our free scoring best this evening.
Have I ever mentioned how I hate this fixture? Why the ***** is it always on at 5.15 on s Saturday? It's a conspiracy I tells thee!!
Hmm.. you could see that one coming couldn't you..? I hate our set-play... on both sides of the pitch honestly..
Arghhhh it's not the fixture that's jinxed Rocky, it's their goalposts!!!
I was just typing Bendtner's looking fantastic, he's SCORED!!!! :D
Did anyone see the stat of after 20 minutes Arsenal had completed 132 passes while Bolton had completed 19? LOL ... BTW - As I wrote this we scored twice ..... YES!!!!
Never had any doubts over Eboue. Eboue = Legend!
haha, Eboue the legend
lol Rocky really? So the Bolton guys on average had 1.5 passes apiece in the first 20 mins?! :D i.e. If you exclude that corner and Davis's header, it's 18?!?! lol
Ok that counter attack Eboue played selfishly..he should have passed it to Adebayor/Bendtner..should have been 3-1 now!
Yeah ..... that's not even a 1 pass per minute!
What did Arsene feed Eboue with? He's completely changed in front of goal! And is it just me or are we, without Hleb, shooting more from the midfielders? Phew, that Nolan shot's scary! Well done Manuel!!
******** dirt ********s. Kevin Davies needs knocking down a peg or two, I wish Martin Keown was still playing.
I just wonder how Theo will rip bolton apart when I compare Eboue's performance against them in the first half....hmmm
Rocky7, the commentator said its not a bad tackle...I guess they want to see Eduardo's kind of injury to label it a bad tackle!!!
You're right CG - Theo should replace Denilson at HT!
i thot i was d only person who noticed d commentator's opinion. studs up. make that two studs. and d c@:t says it was a fair tackle. he had blood tricklin out of his shins. just hope he can see out d remaining 45 mins
Davies brings his left knee round into Clichy for no reason what so ever. Though I don't expect anyone in the Setanta studio will say anything about it because they have a Bolton player sitting next to them.
They didn't even look at it ... surprise surprise.
lets assume its us against d media
The analysts showed clearly Gallas is to be blamed for Davies's goal..he marked him then walked away before the ball was crossed in...if I recall his poor marking in Fulham's game also costed us a goal and 1pt at for those calling Gallas/Djourou or Gallas/Silvestre partnership should think it Karma for previous offside goals against us..we got one today (Eboue's)...;)
F**K..Clichy is out!!! F**k
Does McManaman hates us or what? He keeps saying the tackle was fair!!! Let Davies do the same tackle on Gerrard and let him say the same thing.
Interviewer to Taylor - "What do Bolton need to do to get back into the game?" Taylor - "We need to do more of what Kevin has done but with no malice"
Gael's off... :(
AW should have put Theo in place of Eboue and move Eboue RB and not Djourou..hmmm
Where would Sagna go then CG?
GK..I meant to bring Theo in and not Djourou..where Sagna will go LB, Eboue RB and Theo take LM
Sagna is best a RB so I think this is the right move. Except maybe move Gallas out to LB and Djourou to CB
just look @ those clowns tryin hard to injure themselves
GK..when Djourou was brought in now, AW slotted in RB and Sagna shifted to LB....thats why I said it would have been better if you are shifting Sagna to move Eboue at the back rather than Djourou who almost costed us a goal few minutes ago in fact...WOW Theo is warming up!!!
For F**K is Song's foul a yellow card?..if thats the case I guess Davies was lucky to even get a yellow for his foul!!!!
Er.. what's with Cesc's new hairstyle..?
wow what a goal
Beautiful beautiful goal!!
Theo!!!! was about time to tear apart Bolton..LOL ...ooops he just missed his own goal..nice strike and save!!!...GL..its not a hairstyle but a band to hold his falling hair...cheers to gooners...we will be on top of the league at least for today...;)
thats the theo we've always wanted to see
that ramsey kid has got game. pure class
now that is the arsenal performance that we've been waiting for - simply awesome - they couldnt get near us to kick us which is what has been the problem in the past. i thought denilson has been fantastic today, and bendtner has shown why wenger thinks so highly of him. really impressed today - well done boys
I LOVE our football!!!
I know CG, but isn't Cesc growing his hair a little bit so he needs that band...?! He's looking proper Spanish now.. :P
did i say top of the table!!Who needs flamini when we got denilson?hleb who when we got walcott,good perfomance from the boys now off to get some drinks
the arsenal
we've done it!!! we are top of the league!!! at least for 24 hours
Top of the League and Spurs are bottom!!! Happy days happy days for all Gooners :)
Cesc's at it again hehe, picked up a silly yellow card to miss an "easier" game coming - is he suspended in CC Sheffield Utd game or Hull game?
we need a new poll the one we got is outdated
the arsenal
Thanks Stoke!! lol lol.... Oh yeah, I almost forgot our neighbours... Yay, we're top, say we're top of the table!! We love you Arsenal, we do....!
is cesc suspended for our next game?
I can understand the cheer, coz it was a good pleasing 3 points, but its only a matter of time before our defence crumbles against better opposition. Last seasons have not been learned and there were several opportunities for Bolton to score. Of the defence, only Almunia did well today, making some good/decent saves. Gallas lost Davies for the 1st goal and Clichy was out of position at the far post and should have blocked that goal. That was not the only defensive problem we had. Am I the only one who's concerned about this ?
no you are not alone prits, i have been concerned about our defense since the beginning of the season. Our Defense has been poor against lesser oppositions, and i just feel that when we come up against a decent attacking team or better were going to get battered if we continue to defend like we have been.
Youngest in Charge
Prits I think your concerns are valid, you're defo not alone. But YIC has a point too, we tend to defend better against tougher opponents. But for now, let's just enjoy our league position. Hehe must watch MotD tonight, want to see those nice goals again!
who scored for Arsenal? Adebayor? he's in my Fantasy team and we will whip your sorry red ar s e s :-)
Lou, I think you should read YICs post more carefully, which suggests the exact opposite ;). I suppose we, as fans, simply have to accept that this team will only have the 4th best defence in the Premiership again this season, and that our weakness against the long ball will be exploited a few times over the course of a season. We just have to score more goals then - simple :).
Nope Merlin, Eboue (!), Bendtner and Denilson. Our guys can all score so it's hard to pick! ;) Btw Cesc is surprisingly playing catch up on Den for both goals and assists now hehe.
Oops, sorry, too excited.. But it's not the "exact" opposite. Hmm what I mean to say, anyway, is that our defence tend to up their game when we face tougher opponents (Milan). I do share your concerns that the same problems are still there (I actually said that on the forum, sorry for repeating) - set pieces, long balls, heading. At times we're still riding our luck at the back, coupled with Almunia's solid performance. But I feel just slightly better with Song doing the DM work, he's also more "natural" in heading the ball than all other midfielders we have. I guess we'll see more of that, at least till January.
We have the best Song, yet no song for him yet.
i hope wenger finds the right combo for defence. every game counts datz y i dont buy dat idea of our defence stepping up for the big games. our defenders can learn from tevez's approach to games. to him each match is a cup final
Superb. Great game, shoddy defending for the first goal, but that can be worked on. WE ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE, SAY WE ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE! And long may it continue

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