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Premier League preview: Chelsea v Bolton

23 February 2012 19:59

An English Premier League match at home to struggling Bolton should be an attractive prospect for Chelsea as they seek a return to form.

Andre Villas-Boas' Chelsea team are without a win from their past five matches in all competitions.

Their barren run includes giving up a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 at home to Premier League champions Manchester United, followed by a frustrating 1-1 draw with second-tier Birmingham in the FA Cup.

The latest calamity arrived in the Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday, when Chelsea were outclassed in a 3-1 loss away to Serie A side Napoli.

Poor results and rumours of dressing room discontent have reportedly heaped the pressure on Villas-Boas, but the coach has insisted he requires only the backing of club owner Roman Abramovich to continue his rebuilding project.

What the 34-year-old Portuguese tactician needs most is a win to quieten the voices of unrest, and there can be few more likely targets than second-from-bottom Bolton Wanderers.

FA Cup semi-finalists last season, Bolton have struggled to cope with injuries and the loss of key players in 2011/12.

They were forced to sell Gary Cahill to Chelsea in the January transfer window, and with John Terry sidelined by knee surgery, his young England colleague is likely to line-up against former employers Bolton at centre-back.

There is another connection between the clubs further forward - Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge spent the second half of last season on loan at Bolton, and played a key part in their impressive performances under Scottish manager Owen Coyle.

This term Coyle has had to make do without the services of Sturridge and centre-forward Johan Elmander, who left for Galatasaray on a free transfer in May.

Long-term injuries to key midfielders Stuart Holden and Chung-Yong Lee have also taken their toll, meaning Bolton have managed just six victories in 25 league matches this season.

They did beat Championship side Millwall 2-0 last week to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals, but it remains to be seen if Coyle can preserve his team's top-flight status.

As well as Holden and Lee, Bolton will also be missing versatile veteran Ricardo Gardner and fullback Tyrone Mears, while striker Kevin Davies is in doubt with a knee injury.

Villas-Boas has close to a full complement of players to choose from, with club captain Terry their only absentee.

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Info

Competition
Premier League
Date
29 December 2010
Game week
20
Kick-off
20:45
Half-time
0 - 0
Full-time
1 - 0
Venue
Stamford Bridge (London)
Attendance
40982

Goals

F. Malouda 61'
(assist by D. Drogba) 
1 - 0

Lineups

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
19
21
22
38
43
44
46
# Player Bookings
17
10
16
1
20
25

Wednesday 22 February

19:01
18:56
18:41
18:37
18:20
18:04
18:04
17:56
17:49
17:25
17:25
17:08
16:53
16:46
16:39
15:56
15:33
14:52
14:29
13:43
13:15
12:40
12:36
12:20
12:08
12:00
11:31
11:17
10:57
10:40
09:38
08:56
07:33
06:43
06:39
06:26
04:44
03:02
01:56
01:51
01:05
00:38
00:24
00:19
00:00

Tuesday 21 February

23:51
23:44
23:43
23:36
23:33
23:19
22:51
22:46
21:29
21:24
21:07
20:41
20:36
19:54
19:09
18:58
18:35
18:24
18:00
17:57
17:40
17:04
16:57
16:54
16:46
15:53
14:41
14:30
14:21
13:37
12:51
12:15
11:09
09:55
09:32
07:32
06:11
03:59
02:47
02:30
01:36
00:51
00:34
00:15
00:04

Monday 20 February

23:06
22:24
21:30
20:08
20:03
19:36
19:34
19:09
18:55
18:52
18:17
17:42
17:18
17:04
16:52
16:42
16:31
16:14
16:03
15:46
15:24
15:17
14:43
14:31
14:06
13:50
13:38
13:09
12:54
12:39
12:30
11:42
11:26
11:16
11:02
10:40
08:51
08:19
08:00
07:04
05:00
03:44
01:56
01:50
01:27
01:04
00:59
00:26
00:17
00:07

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