Good Morning Insiders, and tomorrow see The Arsenal travel again for this third away fixture to the North West to face their old bogie team Bolton Wanderers. Saturday’s game sees Gary Megson’s side struggling for consistency having lost the services of players Matthew Taylor through injury and Gary Cahill with the last game of his two match suspension following his dismissal in the Carling Cup defeat by Northampton Town . However record signing Swedish striker 27 yr old Johan Elmander is hopeful to be fit to face Arsenal having had a whole weeks training following his hamstring injury. Elmander showed in Bolton’s first victory over Stoke that he can deliver, scoring a goal on his debut for the Trotters.
Since his injury however Bolton have managed only one points from four games which includes a defeat by Fulham which Gary Megson freely admits was down to silly defensive errors. He concludes that if those are repeated on Saturday, then they will get punished by this young Arsenal side. He is keen to provide good opposition before the TV cameras and ensure that the fans have something to sing about in the Reekbok stadium pictured above. He sees as key to the fixture the participation of ex Gunner Fabrice Muamba. The 6ft 2in Midfielder who is a Vieira look alike was one of Bolton’s summer signings for £5 million from Birmingham City. He is anxious to make an impression against his old club.
Megson has been careful to say kind words about the Arsenal, but rather worryingly singled out Theo Walcott as the main threat to his side. We all know that sometimes a wounded animal can be the most dangerous, Jlloyd Samuel and Gavin McCann are sure to give Theo a typical Bolton Welcome, in an attempt to unsettle our star. Given the treatment that was dished out to Theo on Wednesday in Kiev, I hope that Arsene Wenger does rest him for even though Theo Walcott’s confidence is high, he needs to managed well after the nasty tackles that he suffered in Kiev. Theo will soon get an extended run of games to prove that he should be one of the first names on the team sheet.
Arsene’s choices will be limited by the continued absence of Silvestre, Diaby and Nasri. Rosicky appears to be on the long term injury list again, whereas Eduardo is getting closer and should be back in November. The midfield lineup will probably be similar to that played in Kiev, with perhaps Eboue coming in for Walcott. The presence of Alexandre Song has bought a little bit of resistance to the Arsenal midfield whilst Fabregas is finding his form. It will be interesting how Arsene lines up his strikers following his expression of frustration midweek. It is conceivable that he will rest Adebayor in favour of Niklas Bendtner, and perhaps Robin van Persie may also make way for Carlos Vela or Jack Wilshere.
Arsenal will be keen to erase the memories of the Champions League game, and also send a message that this team can dispatch teams likes Bolton aside. I expect goals, lots of goals if the Red and White engine comes finely tuned. Not even Jussi Jaaskaleinen will be able to stop what should be a comfortable win for the Gunners. But before you accuse me of being over confident, I am only looking at the stats. Bolton come into this fixture WLDL, goals 4 for and 4 against, with several key players either just returning from injury or out due to injury. Arsenal are WLWW, 8 goals for and 1 against. I predict Bolton 0 Arsenal 3. Easing us into second place if Chelsea slip up against ManU on Sunday.
Likely lineup?,Arsene Wenger has already signalled that he intends to rest some of his key players, so I have a hunch that Niklas Bendtner and Aaron Ramsey may feature in the game. Bendtner is fresh after the International break where he scored a goal. A Bendtner and Carlos Vela combination could yet prove to complement each other, providing Vela does some running along the wide channels. Bendtner has yet to prove that he is a better finisher than Adebayor, as he is is also prone to missing easy chances, but my feeling is that with each opportunity Bendtner will eventually sort out what ever is preventing him displaying the potential we all know that he has. Whilst lacking the raw pace of his Togalese collegue, Niklas Bendtner has good aerial ability and when focused, he can find the angles and hit the target. Carlos Vela is an unknown quantity for the Bolton team, and could cause them lots of problems with his movement off the ball.
So I predict Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Toure, Clichy, Denilson, Song, Eboue, Ramsey, Vela, Bendtner,. The game is being televised on Setanta Sports 1, with a 5-15 kick off. Enjoy the game, and COME ON YOU GUNNERS!!!!
Fabregas the King.