Where and when:
City of Manchester Stadium, Saturday December 23rd 2006. 3pm kick off.
Bolton are searching for a hat-trick of wins, whilst we are seeking to avoid three defeats on the trot. After a spirited performance at Old Trafford we had the ineptitude of last Sunday against Tottenham and head into a crucial set of games.
Outside of the top two, Bolton - with nine victories boast the third best record in the division and are vying to get into third spot. Their defensive record is good and have as good a record as our scoring one is poor.
Bernardo Corradi is still suspended and Didi Hamman is again on the injured list. Micah Richards and Claudio Reyna both face late tests but Ben Thatcher is expected to return following his ban.
For Bolton,El-Hadj Diouf is set to return for the suspended Kevin Davies.
Keys to the game:
Bolton's tactics may be uncompromising, but have proved both effective and succesful over the past couple of seasons. They will continue to get balls into attacking positions quickly - and although Kevin Davies will be absent, both Dunne and Distin need to get back to form as they will be ensured a busy afternoon.
For ourselves, it is imperative that the forwards show far more than they have done for the majority of the season. Their ineffectiveness is placing far too much pressure on Joey Barton and the rest of the midfield.
Nicolas Anenlka. A reminder of just how good a player he was for us.
Why City will win:
Last week aside our home record is good, and generally when the pressure has been on the team have responded with a positve result.
Why City will lose:
Bolton have registered a couple of good results against us in recent seasons, and are in the middle of some good form following a shaky spell.
City 1 Bolton 0.