That wasn’t quite the performance or the result we were looking for on Wednesday night. The finishing was poor, the defence was under pressure for large parts of the game and given the way we played in the second half we were a bit lucky to nick the point. Having said that, the team showed spirit to fight till the end. As long as we win our home games we should be relatively comfortable in the group. Our week of away games now finishes with another trip to the North East, returning to the site of one of our more memorable matches from last season where we came from 2-0 down with ten men to win the game 3-2. Didn’t make any difference in the grander context but it was a remarkable performance. Hopefully it won’t be quite as traumatic this time round.
We need to keep winning during this run of comfortably winnable games and keep up the momentum. United’s one man side now has it’s one man back so they’ll start winning, and Chelsea and Liverpool have both started better than us, so we can’t give up any ground. Bolton have won one, drawn one and lost two of their first four, and we should be looking for a third league win in a row. Hopefully stamina won’t be an issue, we’ve done some serious travelling this week and the team won’t rotate much, so sharpness may be a problem. It may not be a flowing performance from us but we should be able to get the victory.
We’ve won the last two times we’ve gone to the Reebok Stadium, but before that we had lost the previous four attempts. Before last season we hadn’t won there in the league in six years. In all competitions, we’re looking for our fifth consecutive victory against Bolton.
Rosicky, Silvestre, Nasri and Diaby are definitely out. Leaves us with few options really, Wenger mentioned rotation this week but so far has only made one change to the team, and it seems pointless rotating for this game as we have the Carling Cup mid week. Eboue will come back in for Song and we’ll line up as we did against Blackburn.
Subs: Fabianski, Djourou, Song, Ramsey, Wilshere, Vela, Bendtner.
Mathew Taylor is injured for this game and Gary Cahill is suspended, other than that Bolton should be at full strength.