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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

Tuesday 1 September

12:44
12:44
12:33
12:06
12:01
11:36
11:19
10:42
10:04
09:56
08:51
08:44
08:26
08:15
07:19
07:18
07:11
06:35
06:29
05:07
04:42
02:06
01:57
01:52
01:41
01:07
00:49
00:34
00:33
00:06

Monday 31 August

23:40
23:30
23:07
23:00
22:32
22:02
21:46
21:33
21:26
20:48
20:21
20:13
20:09
19:54
19:46
19:14
19:13
19:04
18:54
18:45
18:22
18:03
17:44
17:34
17:32
17:11
17:04
16:33
16:29
16:27
15:46
15:29
14:56
14:18
13:54
13:40
13:38
13:23
13:18
12:54
12:12
11:59
11:55
11:08
10:50
09:30
09:20
09:10
09:05
08:30
08:27
08:25
08:23
07:51
06:47
06:43
06:42
06:20
05:45
05:03
04:34
03:54
03:50
03:49
03:21
03:12
02:39
02:33
01:43
01:30
01:19
00:34

Sunday 30 August

23:55
23:44
23:00
22:46
22:36
21:57
21:25
21:24
20:50
20:36
20:03
19:47
19:37
19:35
19:06
18:57
18:53
18:37
18:02
17:57
17:28
17:01
16:58
16:33
16:26
16:11
15:47
15:14
14:32
14:10
14:05
13:32
12:55
11:19
10:06
08:33
07:16
06:37
05:20
04:19
03:01
02:17
02:14
01:56
01:01
00:22
00:02

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