Manchester City vs Bolton Wanderers
Odds City: 3/4 Draw: 13/5 Bolton: 4/1
Last competitive meeting: Bolton Wanderers 2-0 Manchester City 2/11/08
Premiership form: Manchester City: LWWWLL Bolton Wanderers: LLDDDD
Bolton Wanderers, a team who regularly plead celibacy in the face of sexy fútbol, make the short journey into Manchester for the last lap of the 2008 to 2009 season. Whilst the match, in the grand scheme of things, means very little to both sides with regards league places, both City and Wanderers will want to finish their middling seasons on a high.
In searching for some kind of non-emotional meaning to Sunday’s game for Bolton, you might find that league prize money could be a factor for the Trotters as they can still finish anywhere between 11th and 15th. In which of the ‘Two Premierships’ would 15th put you, Mr Gartside?
Though this weekend concludes on the pitch activities for City, off it the rumor mill is gathering pace every day. Reports in the tabloids have changed their tune more than a Politian trying to explain his expenses recently. July 1st is the date we fling back the curtains, lift up the rusty latch and shove the transfer window open wide. Though it maybe be more difficult than some think to get any quality signings through whilst European football remains on the outside.
Last Time Out
Bolton’s horrid performance last weekend was in keeping with their new kit. A 1-1 draw would have been a lot worse if it wasn’t for ‘keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen saving his team’s reputation for the umpteenth time this season. Wanderers were always second best to a team who have mostly been in free fall for the second half of the season. “We did our battling two months ago” contemplated manager Gary Megon after the game. Easy to see where his team’s lack of spirit comes from.
For City, an away day story which has been all too common this season last week against Tottenham Hotspur resulted in a 2-1 defeat. A dubious penalty decision gave Harry Redknapp’s men a fortunate but deserved win and spelt the end of any remaining European dreams for City. Positives were hard to draw on but substitute Valerie Bojinov’s well controlled volley was a wonderful sight after his prolonged battle with injury.
Davis: Not from the McManaman school of pointing
With 12 goals in a side that doesn’t create many chances, Davies’ goals have kept Bolton away from the wrong end of the table this season. Behind Steven Gerrard he is the leading English scorer in the top flight this season and, in this writer’s view, a definite candidate for the England squad. Davies isn’t always pretty to watch but his presence and the directness of his play is something City could have done with this season. Richard Dunne will need to be solid to stop Davies on Sunday.
Not really here: Berti
Will he? Won’t he?
Bolton will still be without Ricardo Vaz Te and reverse fixture scorer Ricardo Gardner on Sunday. With one of the smallest squads in the Premiership and no additional injuries Megson doesn’t have much room or need for change so expect the same XI who lined up against Hull to start.
It’ll be interesting to see whether Manchester City manager Mark Hughes gives any academy products their first taste of Premiership football on Sunday. If Hughes is a regular reader of mancityfans.net he may, aside from wishing death on a few posters, give in to public pressure and give youngster Vlad Weiss a run out. It could well be too early to say which players we will be saying a farewell to, though the full time reaction of some will make for interesting viewing.
Look Mum’s Prediction
Jaaskelainen is good, great in fact, but I don’t give a Danny Shittu Bolton have in goal. Their defense just isn’t good enough to cope with City at home. 3-0.