Thursday, September 16, 2010

Aston Villa v Bolton Wanderers

Apparently, some day soon, Aston Villa will have a new manager.  He is a good manager, and the club's performances will probably improve under him.  If the past is any indication, all that will do is create unrealistic expectations for the managers that come after him.  Bolton have also been down this road.  Only now, under Owen Coyle, is the club finally starting to emerge from the shadow of Sam Allardyce.

This weekend's match could give us a preview of this new era, as club captain and aerial warrior Kevin Davies looks very unlikely to feature.  Now, you never want a player to get injured, but Wanderers are not going to be able to have a full break from the Allardyce team until Davies rides off into the sunset.  The truth is, it is hard to argue that he still deserves an automatic place in the starting XI.  Unfortunately, he is only one of several Bolton absentees this week.  The Bolton team will look something like this;

Adam Bogdan (in goal until Jussi Jaaskelainen finishes serving a three match ban)

Gretar Steinsson, Zat Knight, Andy O'Brien, Paul Robinson

Lee Chung-yong, Stuart Holden, Fabrice Muamba, Mark Davies, Martin Petrov

Johann Elmander

Coming into the season, it was apparent that Bolton's strength was on the wings, but both Lee and Petrov has struggled to make an impression early.  Maybe this will finally be the week they break out.

It will not be easy.  Bolton have had no success at Villa Park the past few seasons.  And Villa have a lot of attacking talent for Wanderer's makeshift defense to cope with.  Especially keep an eye on Stephen Ireland. who has shown some clues that he is returning to prior form.

I am hoping for a draw here, but I am not confident.

No comments: