Writer: Nick Simmonett
Date:Friday April 13 2007
Bolton's visit to The Grove could be the decider for fourth place - if Arsenal manage to grab a victory over their Northern challengers.
Arsenal did look to have 4th tied up a few weeks ago and The Gunners even had their targets trained on third place. A 4-1 demolition at the hands of Liverpool put those hopes to bed.
But things have since got worse for Arsenal. A home defeat to West Ham and a draw away to Newcastle has now put Arsenal's Champions league qualification in jeopardy.
Fear not though, fellow Gooners. a 2 point lead, a game in hand and Bolton set to visit The Emirates tomorrow means that Arsenal's fate is still firmly in their hands.
Arsene Wenger has stated that he is confident, while pointing out that Bolton will pose a threat: "It is a big game against a direct rival.
"They have good players and, especially, good strikers. They are a direct side and will use that.
"But we play at home, we know we can beat them and so we must just focus on playing well.
"We know [a Champions League place] is the minimum target we want to reach at the start of every season and it will be like that every year.
"You want to win every trophy you play for and to win the Champions League next year of course you have to be in it again."
Fat Sam is also confident his side can cause Arsenal some problems: 'We don't have the same fears we used to about playing at Arsenal but beating them would probably be one of our best results this season.
'There is an opportunity because they are struggling to score goals and hopefully we can take advantage.
'That would be absolutely terrific and we are more confident about playing at the Emirates Stadium.'
Tomas Rosicky has recovered from a virus after missing Arsenal's draw with Newcastle (let's hope he didn't pick it up in a Prague hotel!).
Rosicky's return means that Arsenal will only be missing 3 players tomorrow: Henry, Robin Van Persie and Theo walcott.
This is the kind of game Adebayor was brought for. It's all well and good having your Henry's and Van Persie's who can score amazing goals, but when Bolton come to town you know you need something different. Adebayor offers that.
Bolton captain Kevin Nolan returns from a suspension.
Joey O'Brien and Quinton Fortune are both out while Tal Ben Haim faces a fitness test.
Le Sulk has a fantastic record against his former teams this season. A brace against Arsenal saw Bolton run out 3-1 winners Oop North warlier in the season, followed by a brace against manchester City.
Rob Styles will be the bearer of the whistle on Saturday. He has refereed 3 arsenal games this season, handing out 1 red card (Gilberto) and 2 yellows (Clichy & Van Persie). In total he has given out 77 yellows and 4 reds. An average of 3.38 cards per game.
I'm feeling unusually confident about this game. Wenger has stated several times this week that he is confident of victory. I'm going for a hard fought 2-1 Arsenal win. Adebayor and Gilberto to grab Arsenal's goals, Kevin Nolan for The Orcs.
A home game against Man City is up next for Arsenal. The Gunners will face Le Mancs on Tuesday (19:45 KO). It's a game Arsenal should really win, but we should really have won a lot of games this season. It could prove to be a VERY important game if we lose tomorrow.
Date:Friday April 13 2007
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|1. Man City||14||9||2||3||16||29|
|2. Leicester City||14||8||5||1||8||29|
|3. Man Utd||14||8||4||2||10||28|
|7. Crystal Palace||14||7||1||6||5||22|
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