Drogba Likely To Start Against Bolton (Match Preview)

Posted: October 1, 2011 by GaryCRobertson in Bolton, Chelsea, Guest, Preview

The statistics surrounding any Chelsea Bolton clash over the past decade or so should give Chelsea fans plenty of fuel for optimism, especially considering Bolton’s poor start to the season, which has sees them lying at the foot of the Premier League table as of this morning [Saturday] with just 3 points from their first 6 games.

Chelsea should be feeling confident going into this Sunday’s fixture after a confident display in Europe midweek in Valencia, and whilst Fernando Torres will be unavailable for the trip to the Reebok following his red card at the Liberty Stadium last weekend Chelsea have plenty of strikers to call upon including Didier Drogba, who will surely be looking to impress on his first start this season, and Daniel Sturridge, who scored 8 times for ‘The Trotters’ last season, a side who have conceded the most goals in the league so far this season, 16.

Always known as a tough place to go, this year’s trip up North will be engaged with more confidence than ever by ‘The Blues’, the Villas-Boas philosophy of a high line and vertical passing has slowly been materialising, and this game could prove an opportunity to really make its mark against a side who have conceded 18 goals as hosts in this fixture during the past 8 meetings.

With both halves of Manchester playing on Saturday it could mean Chelsea would be 6 points behind both as of Sunday 1:30pm, heaping the pressure on even in the season’s early stages.

Notable absences for Bolton are: Stuart Holden, Ivan Klasnic and David Wheater. Gael Kakuta is ineligible to face his parent club following his impressive start to the season. Unfortunately injuries to Stuart Holden and Lee Chung-Yong have proved to be particularly influential, a lack of creativity something Chelsea could well take advantage of.

Minor reservations surround Jussi Jääskeläinen following his indifferent start to the season.

Frank Lampard should also expect a recall to Chelsea’s starting XI, in a fixture he has particularly enjoyed over the past seasons, after an impressive midweek performance and goal. Goalkeeper Hilario remains approximately a week or two away from match fitness.

Possible starting XI’s are as follows: 

Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Boyata, Knight, Cahill, Robinson, Eagles, Reo-Coker, Muamba, Petrov, K Davies, Tuncay.

Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Mikel, Mata, Drogba, Anelka.

By and large it’s hard to see anything other than a convincing Chelsea win, and one which Andre Villas-Boas will want to experience as early on as possible as the squad goes into a hectic two week schedule, consisting of Everton, Genk, QPR and Everton yet again.

Thankfully for Owen Coyle and Bolton Sunday represents a fixture which would put an end to their dire early season schedule which has already included Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal.

________________________

Match preview written by Ben Pinkney, who you can follow on Twitter @benpinkney42 

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