No team should ever go into a match with their heads down, already having written themselves off, or else they might as well not be there. However, due to a combination of Bolton Wanderer’s poor form, and Chelsea’s growing belief under new manager Andre Villas-Boas, the upcoming match between the sides does have an air of inevitability about it. With Bolton’s current, unfortunately long, injury list containing key players there is just no way the team can compete with the top clubs right now.
The scheduling of the Premier League this year has been particularly cruel on the Trotters. While it is highly unlikely that Bolton will collect any sort of positive result from this game, with Chelsea fans expecting nothing less than a win, nobody would want to be in Owen Coyle’s shoes right now. Realistically he has two ways of approaching this game: experimentation or damage control.
Chelsea is not exactly terrorising teams going forward right now and find themselves still irritated by the situation with Fernando Torres, who is suspended for the next three fixtures just as he was looking to be finding some form. However, with Bolton’s defence in pieces this should not be a difficult confrontation for Juan Mata and co. Didier Drogba will probably find himself in the lone striker role in the place of Torres after making his come-back from injury and scoring his first goal of the season against Swansea. If not Drogba then the pace of Sturridge or Anelka is more than enough to scare the life out of any team, with both players looking sharp so far this season. The attacking options that Chelsea has at their disposal are a stark contrast with the limited options in the final third of the pitch that we see in the Trotter’s squad.
Coyle’s other option is to go into the game open-minded and try something new for his upcoming matches. It is no secret that his choices are limited right now and it might be beneficial for him to try moving away from the 4-4-2 that we see week in week out. Coyle will once again be cursing his luck after be losing Stuart Holden for another six months but he must find a solution to this.
Regardless of what happens in this game the team must go onto the pitch and put their all into the game, if not with getting a result in mind, at the very least giving the fans something to be optimistic about. There has been far too much negativity surrounding what is a decent squad with a terrific manager this season and it is about time Bolton’s luck changed for the better. The last thing fans and management will want to see is a club that had top 10 ambitions at the beginning of the season drawn into a relegation scrap. Particularly as this is a position that Bolton certainly does not deserve to be in.
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