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Bolton preview

Where and when:

Reebok Stadium, Saturday 13th January 2006.

Current form:

Bolton are second in the Premiership form table, and currently boast their highest points return at this stage of the season and are seeking their fourth consecutive home win, and sixth in seven games overall.

Premiership wise, we go in on the back of two away Premiership victories and are unbeaten in four overall since the defeat at home to Bolton around three weeks ago. A victory would give us four consecutive Premiership wins for the first time since 1992.

Team news:

There shouldn't too many changes for ourselves, with only Barton expected to return to the side following his suspension. Hatem Trabelsi may likely miss out after going off injured in last weeks game at Hillsborough.

Keys to the game:

I was quite impressed with Bolton in the fixture at home, as they were far less reliant on the more direct approach that we have seen in recent times - the addition of Anelka and form of Diouf has certainly allowed them to alter their style a little.

Allardyce got his tactics and approach spot on, and his side are ready and seem to know exactly what their jobs are. Pearce has shown some encouraging signs of late in being far more flexible and adaptable tactically and needs to match Allardyce in this respect.

City link:

Nicolas Anelka enjoyed a happy return a couple of weeks ago, and has settled in well at Bolton.

Why City will win:

The switch to 3-5-2 has seen us look a more adept side Premiership wise, and has seen us pick up a pair of 1-0 away victories in tight, close games. This will continue and we will do to Bolton what they have done to many sides over the past few seasons.

Why City will lose:

With the addition of Anelka, it has given Bolton a new dimension to their play and the tactical approach of Allardyce will outfox Pearce. We could also have one eye on Tuesday's replay against Sheffield Wednesday.


Bolton 1 City 0