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Preview: Bolton v. Arsenal


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Arsenal begin the first of two consecutive league games against Bolton tomorrow when the Wanderers host the Gunners in the final kickoff of the weekend.

In the event of a light dusting of snow, the match will be postponed, but this is only because Bolton are a bunch of Northern softies.

Vital Quotes:

Wenger had this to say on his returning captain: 'Cesc is a player who is an exceptional talent. But part of the exceptional talent is that he is never happy with what he is delivering.'

'There is a lot more to come from him, because these players always get better. When he does something you feel straightway he analyses 'ah, I did that wrong' and the next time the right answer comes. That is how the big players improve, that means there is a lot to come from him.'

'Today he is stronger defensively than three years ago. He is stronger in his runs, he is stronger in his long passing and his left-foot is better. But he can still be better in the air. He can score goals in the air because once you get into the box at the right moment you can score as well with headers. With his left foot and his heading, there is a lot more to come from him. '

Bolton Team News:

Sean Davis and Joey O'Brien out with knee injuries, while Danny Shittu is in Angola for the African Cup of Nations. Other than that, Owen Coyle has full squad to pick from.

Possible Starting XI: Jaaskelainen, Ricketts, Robinson, Cahill, Knight, Lee, Taylor, Cohen, Muamba, Klasnic, Davies.

Player to watch: Lee Chung-Yong

I've seen a handful of good goals from this guy, and he scored a peach in the FA Cup recently. I could see him being up for the big game.

Arsenal Team News:

'We've got Cesc Fabregas... We've got Cesc Fabregas'

That's right. The best player in the Premier League this season will return to the Arsenal lineup for this first time since his unbelievable two goal, 28 minute cameo against Aston Villa.

Gael Clichy also could return to the starting eleven, but he might be just short. He'll be on the bench for sure though. Ramsey and Denilson are both likely to miss the trip north.

Predicted Starting XI: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Diaby, Rosicky, Fabregas, Eduardo, Nasri, Arshavin

Player to watch: Andrey Arshavin

It's easy to get frustrated sometimes with Andrey, but he should be free of criticism while Arsene is playing him as the spearhead of the front three. Usually he gets very little support, but with the return of Cesc, I imagine our Russian will have a break out match. Those two were brilliant during the Burnley game before Fabregas had to come off.

Ref Watch:

Phil Dowd will be the head official.

Match Prediction:

Bolton will be re-energized thanks to their new manager, but I believe Fabregas, Rosicky, Diaby, and Arshavin will be too much for home side. 3-1 to the Arsenal.

Next Fixtures:

20/1 (Wed) - Bolton (h) - Premier League

24/1 (Sun) - Stoke (a) - FA Cup

27/1 (Wed) - Villa (a) - Premier League

Writer:Brice Coffer
Date:Saturday January 16 2010
Time: 9:02PM

Best of International Football News



With the results of our main rivals, yesterday, this (both) game(s) against Bolton is a must-win for The Arsenal. I feel we will have too much for Bolton to handle, though it will start off like 'one of those games' till our quality comes through and wears them down. Also look forward to high goals difference over both games. The predicted starting line up is ideal, given our situation with injuries/absences.
17/01/2010 12:39:00
Yeh I love the predicted line up It says Goals Goals Goals Ihope
17/01/2010 13:39:00
Eastmond starts....... interesting to see how this lad performs
17/01/2010 15:30:00
Eastmond starting!!! Crazy!
17/01/2010 15:31:00
Anyone know where Nasri is?
17/01/2010 15:37:00
Nasri+Ramsey injured in training
17/01/2010 15:42:00
I think its smarter to play Eastmond than to play Diaby out of position. That said, I have a feeling he'll struggle with all the pressures of his first prem start especially away from home against a team playing to impress their new manager...
17/01/2010 15:42:00
I personally would've preffered Diaby, with the all of the midfield 3 having extra emphasis put on them to defend together and have competent comunication as to when to go forward and drop back. Eastmond's looked rather edgy when he's played, which is understandable, but still provides a risk. I hope he finds his feet today though.
17/01/2010 15:48:00
Thanks collow. Pity, Sami's been great recently, although everytime I see him play I always want a little bit more. I wish he'd be a bit less tentative making runs inside the full-back and into the box, though. He has all the attributes to get 15 goals a season, but just doesn't often show the confidence to commit himself to a run.
17/01/2010 15:52:00
Eastmond will do well; just needs a few minutes to settle into this game.
17/01/2010 16:14:00
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