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Bolton preview

After the highs of last week a potential trap game awaits.

With the concensus being that we are back on track (amazing what a victory can do) there is the potential to look past the trip to The Reebok to potentially tougher tests at Tottenham on Wednesday and Sunderland next weekend.

Hopefully that will not be the case though as players and management alike should be only too aware that this is the type of fixture that was prevalent in our recent run of draws.

Bolton are of course in the relegation zone and have struggled recently, with pressure growing on Gary Megson after a disappointing defeat against Wolves last weekend. Recent history at The Reebok - as the match facts below show - is not in our favour though and it will in all likelihood be a scrap of a game.

Whether this influences the shape of the side remains to be seen, but although there will need to be one change at left-back, with Sylvinho expected to start, it may be that Hughes foresakes some of the attacking threat on the left and shores up that side by restoring Bellamy (or even Petrov) in place of Robinho.

Team wise, Bolton captain Kevin Davies returns to the side after serving a one-match suspension against Wolves. Long-term absentees Joey O'Brien and Sean Davis are the only players unavailable to manager Gary Megson.

Sylvinho could make his first Premier League start for Manchester City in place of the injured Wayne Bridge. Craig Bellamy may return after missing last weekend's win over Chelsea with a virus, while Stephen Ireland has recovered from a knee injury.

It wouldn't surprise me if we came away with a draw (scoring draw naturally), but the side has shown earlier in the season that they have the wherewithal to grind out victories away from home.

Another one would be ideal tomorrow.

Match facts:

  • Manchester City have failed to score in their last four league visits to the Reebok Stadium.
  • It is 398 minutes (six hours and 38 minutes) since City last scored at the Reebok Stadium in the league, Joey Barton netting in a 1-0 win on 18 December 2004.
  • Bolton are the only team in the top flight not to keep a clean sheet this season.
  • City are the only Premier League club not to have been awarded a penalty this season.