Following the welcomed news of the takeover being completed at the club, fortunes still seem to have stayed the same on the pitch. Of course, last Saturday’s win over Blackburn may have raised hopes ever so slightly for the fans, but the fairly timid display by the team to gain the win cannot be overlooked. And although Fernando Torres scored his first goal since August, it wasn’t exactly a man of the match performance that came with his winner. Everton for example knew exactly what state Liverpool would be in when they came to Goodison Park, and a hearty display led to the Blues coming out on top. The 2-0 scoreline didn’t account for the total domination that Everton had over the Reds throughout the game- they were beaten on every aspect of it. So, clearly Bolton will be looking to do exactly the same.
The Whites have- and always have had- a physical side to their game. Even more so this year as the squad that endured limited changes over the summer has been together for almost a year now under boss Owen Coyle. Paul Robinson and Rodrigo Moreno were the latest to praise the Scot for installing belief into them as well as a battling work ethic that has led them to sit at 8th in the table. Not only does Hodgson have a mis-firing Spaniard to deal with, but there has been numerous rumors surrounding the future of their new recruits, as the alleged promise of European football seems a million miles away. Their ‘big four’ tag also seems distant, and Liverpool should be prepared to come to the Reebok on Sunday as outsiders.
In terms of preparation, it appears the fixture has fallen on the right time for Coyle as well. With no injury worries of late, the former Burnley manager has a fully-fit squad to call-upon. The only doubt for the game is striker Ivan Klasnic, who was arrested then bailed in the early hours of Monday following allegations over a rape incident. Fortunately for Coyle, if there was any position that was well covered its up-front. Should the Croatian not be available for Sunday’s game- not to mention the fact that the first-choice strikeforce of Kevin Davies and Johan Elmander will be available- the Scot will be able to call on the services of Benfica loanee Moreno or Robbie Blake to come off the bench. Things have changed dramatically for the worse on the red half of Merseyside, and one thing’s for certain, the Whites will be going for all three points.