Arsenal go into this tie in desperate need of a win after losing three games on the trot in the Premier League. Arsenal’s miraculous comeback against Aston Villa at the weekend should hopefully provide some much needed confidence against a Bolton team that has lost their best defender Gary Cahill to Chelsea in recent weeks.
The trotters are currently just hovering above the relegation zone and should be easy meat for the gunners. Although in saying this, the scene is familiar one with the gunners unable to secure any points against teams lingering in the bottom half of the table in recent weeks.
Expect young prodigy Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to start after impressing in his two most recent performances. The Englishman brings much more work-rate and desire to the game compared to Arshavin, who has been labelled by a few legends as being disinterested. His ability for playing a significant part in build-up play, his directness and his willingness to defend will add much to the team.
While Bacary Sagna did feature in the dying stages of the match against Aston Villa, the chances of him starting this match still seem slim considering his long injury lay-off. I expect more of the same in this match with the Frenchman likely to make a small cameo towards the end of the match to ease him into match-fitness. Expect to see Coquelin reprise his role at right-back.
Expect the rest of the team to be the regular first-team players. Anything other than a win tomorrow would be disaster for the gunners as they continue on there path towards a Champions League place.
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on Bacary Sagna…
He is in the squad. Sagna is a bit ahead of Kieran Gibbs training-wise. Sagna is a bit early still [for tomorrow] but you never know. I might consider it because I have to check all the recoveries of the players who played on Sunday.
on Johan Djourou…
Johan was back in full training today so he is available.
on Thierry Henry and Mikel Arteta…
They are both ready.
on other injuries…
We have no injuries. But it was a very demanding game physically against Villa on Sunday and it is important that we recover and prepare well for tomorrow night.
Arsenal – Robin van Persie – The Dutchman should be fresh after having an extended break away from football and hopefully upon his return will continue the freakish form he was in in 2011.
Aston Villa – Chris Eagles – The Englishman had a great performance against Swansea at the weekend and will look to test Arsenal’s makeshift defence down his flank.
Coquelin Mertesacker Koscielny Vermaelen
Walcott Ramsey Chamberlain
Van Persie (c)
Arsenal to win:
There are odds of 8/11 for the Gunners to win away.
Skybet also are offering the same odds at 14/5
Bolton to win:
Skybet are paying out 4/1 odds for the Trotters to win at home.
allArsenal’s Special Bet:
allArsenal’s Special Bet: First Goalscorer = Robin Van Persie =3/1
*Special bet facts:
Robin van Persie has scored 20 goals in his last 20 Premier League away appearances and has been the first goalscorer in 7 games this season.