Saturday, 11 September 2010

Arsenal v Bolton: The big match preview

Arsenal v Bolton Wanderers
Premier League
Ashburton Grove
Kick off: 15:00

The arrival of Bolton Wanderers to the Grove this afternoon proves yet another test of Arsene Wenger's squad.

The Trotters under Owen Coyle are a different beast to when they were managed by Sam Allardyce.

Yet they should not be underestimated.

Coyle may want his sides to play football the right way, but he knows that cannot come in the way of results.

Arsene Wenger will set out his stall today with the knowledge his side must play three games in seven days.

Argueable the sternest test will come next Saturday against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

But no one should underestimate the threat Bolton will bring.

The manager may well have had an extra day to work with his players following their return from international duty. But Owen Coyle must have spent many hours during the ten days since his side's  2-2 draw with Birmingham plotting how to beat Arsenal.

Manuel Almunia will start in goal.

As we know, Thomas Vermaelen misses this game through injury along with Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie.

With these enforced changes on the manager, Sebastien Squillaci will make his Arsenal debut.

He will play alongside Laurent Koscielny. I expect the full backs to be Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs to come into the left berth for his first start of the season.

In midfield I expect Cesc Fabregas to line up alongside Alex Song and Jack Wilshere to come into the side for Abou Diaby.

In the forward positions, I would expect Thomas Rosicky to replace the injured Theo Walcott, with Maurone Chamakh in the centre and Andrey Arshavin on the left.

So my team for today will be:

Almunia

Sagna - Koscielny - Squillaci - Gibbs

Fabregas - Song - Wilshere

Rosicky - Chamakh - Arshavin

I'll post the full team line up when it is announced later.

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