Daniel Sturridge aims to keep scoring streak going but Toffees rocked by injuries to Louis Saha and Jack Rodwell.Wanderers Wobbling, Toffees Tentative On Their Travels
Bolton are currently sitting in eighth position in the Premier League but they have struggled in 2011 and have only recorded one victory. That win was in their last home game against Wolves when Daniel Sturridge struck in the last minute of the match after a Ronald Zubar error.
Bolton have also begun to struggle in front of goal: in 2011 they have scored just four goals in their six league games and Sturridge has scored two of those in the last two games since his loan move from Chelsea.
The Trotters will be buoyed by their home record so far this season, they have only lost two games at home and have won six. They are also a bit more prolific at the Reebok Stadium, scoring 23 goals and only conceding 17. Everton’s poor away form will also give Bolton confidence; the Toffees have only won twice on their travels this season.
David Moyes’ men currently sit in 13th place in the table but they are only three points behind Bolton, they recorded a morale-boosting 5-3 victory over Blackpool last weekend and will be hoping to carry that forward into this game as they are not too prolific on the road. They have scored 14 and conceded 16 goals in 13 games, a statistic which emphasizes the fact that they have drawn seven games and lost four away from Goodison Park.
Blues In Control
Everton are, however, the dominant side in this fixture. They have won just under half of all meetings between the sides (73 out of 148) while Bolton have only managed 38 victories and there have been 37 draws.
Wanderers have only won one of the last nine meetings between the sides, a 3-2 victory at the Reebok Stadium in October 2009. In contrast Everton have won six of the last nine meetings, scoring 15 goals in the process.
When the two sides last met in November, Bolton were on the verge of their first win at Goodison Park since 2005 after Ivan Klasnic had given them the lead 11 minutes from time; but Jermaine Beckford’s first league goal for Everton in the last minute of the game saw the Toffees grab a point.
Don’t stop believing
No matter what the score late in the game neither side will be giving up as they know late goals are almost guaranteed in this game. Amazingly there have been five goals in the last five minutes of the last five meetings between the two sides.
It all started in October 2008 as Marouane Fellaini struck with seconds to go to earn David Moyes’ side a 1-0 victory. Jo scored his second goal of the game in February 2009 to complete an emphatic Everton 3-0 victory in the 90th minute. Ivan Klasnic’s 86th minute strike saw Bolton win 3-2 in October 2009, and Steven Pienaar scored in the 89th in March to secure a 2-0 win for the Toffees. And in their last meeting Beckford’s 90th minute equalizer at Goodison Park earned the Toffees a 1-1 draw.
Bolton boss Owen Coyle will be hoping that his two international stars return from midweek duty unscathed and ready to go straight into this match. Gary Cahill made an appearance as a second-half substitute for England against Denmark and Fabrice Muamba played 90 minutes for England Under-21 against Italy.
Gretar Steinsson looks set to remain on the sidelines whilst Jlloyd Samuel, who recently returned to light training, is still in the process of gaining match fitness.
Joey O'Brien, Ricardo Gardner and Sean Davis are all still continuing their recoveries from their respective injuries..
Possible starting XI: Jaaskelainen; Ricketts, Cahill, Wheater, Robinson; Lee, Muamba, Holden, Taylor; K.Davies, Sturridge
The Toffees have been rocked by injuries to two key players in the build-up to this match. Midfielder Jack Rodwell limped out of the England Under-21 match against Italy in the 12th minute, and after analysis has been diagnosed with a groin injury, which is expected to rule him out for a month.
And to make things worse, in-form striker Louis Saha is set to miss the game with a hamstring injury he picked up in training earlier this week. That will mean Toffees boss David Moyes will have to turn to Jermaine Beckford or Victor Anichebe to lead the line.
Everton have no other injury worries to their first team squad so David Moyes’ selection will be dependent on how his other players have come through the midweek international games. Seamus Coleman played an hour for the Republic of Ireland in their win over Wales in the Nations Cup, John Heitinga represented Holland in their 3-1 win over Austria and Leighton Baines made a late substitute’s appearance in England’s 2-1 win against Denmark.
Possible starting XI: Howard; Heitinga, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Coleman, Neville, Cahill, Fellaini, Arteta; Beckford
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