Manchester United look to correct their recent slump of two successive Premier League defeats with victory in a local Lancashire derby at Old Trafford against Bolton.
United were beaten by struggling Blackburn on New Year’s Eve and then were battered by Newcastle at the Sports Direct Arena in their last outing. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side stopped a three game losing streak with a vital win in the FA Cup against local rivals Manchester City last weekend and United will be looking to get back on form in the league. The reigning champions have not hit their best performance, but have managed to stay within three points of City in the table. Ferguson took the unusual step of re-signing Paul Scholes prior to the Manchester derby, despite the 37 year old retiring from the game in the summer. United will assess injuries to Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Anderson before deciding on their fitness for the game.
Bolton are on their best run of the season with three matches in both the league and the FA Cup unbeaten. The Trotters beat Everton 2-1 at Goodison Park in their last outing and their decisive goal was scored by defender Gary Cahill. The England international is reportedly on the way to London to discuss terms with Chelsea ahead of a proposed £7m move to Stamford Bridge. It is unknown whether Cahill will start for Bolton and if not, then Zat Knight and David Wheater are expected to be Owen Coyle’s central defence. Juusi Jaaskelainen is nearing full fitness and Bolton will perform a late check to see if he can start in goal ahead of deputy Adam Bogdan.
United have a good track record against Bolton at Old Trafford and the last time Bolton won away at United was in September 2001. Coyle’s men will be confident of replicating what Blackburn did a couple of weeks ago, but United are on the backlash and will be good money for a victory.
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