Arsenal vs Bolton: Preview

Arsenal 4/9 Draw 11/4 Bolton 5/1

Saturday 3pm

The odds available for the home win reflect just what a difficult period this has been for Arsenal, but it’s not quite the crisis that the media are telling you that it is – but beating Bolton tomorrow is an absolute must, as next up could be a potentially humbling trip to White Hart Lane.

For the first half-an-hour at Ewood Park, Arsenal actually played very well – they moved the ball around with a purpose that hasn’t been there for a while, and were unlucky not to be further ahead. Unfortunately though, so fragile is the confidence in that team, that the morale was always going to plummet as soon as Yakubu equalised, especially given the sloppiness that allowed him to do this.

Relax though, because this is a new defence – and it’s still one that’s missing Thomas Vermaelen. Another plus for Arsenal fans, is that Bolton have been quietly getting worse by the week.

The three points taken from Loftus Road remain the only return for Owen Coyle so far, and his side have been well-beaten by Liverpool, humbled by both Manchester clubs, and embarrassed by Norwich at home. They’re not scoring goals, but they’re conceding a lot of them. One bright spot on their horizon is the return of Stuart Holden after the injury sustained at Old Trafford last season, expect the American to make the bench tomorrow.

It’s hard to pinpoint what’s so wrong with this Bolton team, the absence of Chung-Yong Lee and Johann Elmander shouldn’t have reduced them to what they currently are – but maybe those factors, combined with a slightly less-effective Kevin Davies, just haven’t been addressed properly. Chris Eagles doesn’t look like a Premier League footballer, and we know that David Ngog definitely isn’t – it’s a hard thing to say, but Jussi Jaaskelainen also looks to be in terminal decline. Not a time for optimism, and tomorrow’s visit to Emirates Stadium is unlikely to improve the mood.

Theo Walcott against Paul Robinson? The league table may suggest an equal crisis in both camps, but Arsenal still have too much for Bolton.

Arsenal by a goal or two.

Posted on September 23, 2011, in Game Preview and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.

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