Chelsea Vs. Bolton Wanderers: Team News & Preview

BOLTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Juan Mata of Chelsea is pursued by Nigel Reo-Coker of Bolton Wanderers during the Barclays Premier League match between Bolton Wanderers and Chelsea at the Reebok Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Bolton, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Nothing like a little bit of Bolton Wanderers to cure what ails. Chelsea are in the midst of an incredibly frustrating spell - in the last three games they've lost at Goodison Park and the Stadio San Paolo, with a home draw against Birmingham City in between. In not one of those games have they looked like a top Premier League side. Fortunately, Bolton have barely looked like any sort of Premier League side all season, so hey! Hope!

Schedule

Game Date/Time: Saturday, February 25th, 3:00 PM GMT (10:00 AM EST).

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London.

TV: FOX Soccer Channel (USA ).

Team News

Chelsea, according to the latest rumours, will be missing Jose Bosingwa, Fernando Torres and John Terry. They will not be missing Juan Mata, despite our favourite hobbit breaking a finger against Napoli. The absence of Torres, who's been ill (like me, ugh) and Bosingwa (who hurt his hamstring in the early stages of the Napoli game) may not be such a bad thing, because they've both been pretty horrendous this year, and Didier Drogba and Branislav Ivanovic are much better options anyway. Terry, obviously, is a different story, but Gary Cahill is a reasonable option to partner David Luiz in the centre of the defence.

I should probably mention something about Gary Cahill playing against his former team now. Gary Cahill will play against his former team! How exciting for him and not exciting for us.

Bolton will be missing ace* striker Kevin Davies, which means they're probably more likely to score goals than usual. There's a fairly interesting new face in the Trotters' ranks in the form of on-loan Arsenal man Ryo Miyaichi, who I'm looking forward to seeing live. Despite his reputation as an exciting young player, I'm not exactly quaking in my boots over Miyaichi, nor am I particularly worried about Tim Ream's possible place in Owen Coyle's back line.

*Irony. Don't mind me.

Tactics

Chelsea are a better side than Bolton, which means that we should be looking to force them into a tactical adjustment rather than make one to deal with them. Andre Villas-Boas needs a win, and should probably play his strongest team as a result. For me, that's a 4-2-3-1, but whenever I suggest he goes with a double pivot we see a 4-3-3 and vice versa.

Regardless of what Villas-Boas actually does, I'd want Mata in the hole flanked by Salomon Kalou on the left and Daniel Sturridge to the right. The defence is basically selected for us, which means that the only question is the personnel in the double pivot.

I think we can all agree that Raul Meireles is banished to the eighth circle of Hell for his fraudulent impersonation of a midfielder, but that leaves us with plenty of choices. Ramires, Michael Essien, John Obi Mikel and Frank Lampard are probably the most popular options, and I'm thinking that a Essien-Lampard pivot will give us players who know what to do with the ball, which is better than what we had on Tuesday (sorry, Ramires).

That gives us a lineup of:

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Petr Cech; Ashley Cole, David Luiz, Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic; Frank Lampard, Michael Essien; Salomon Kalou, Juan Mata, Daniel Sturridge; Didier Drogba.

Of course the tactics and everything won't matter one bit if the team doesn't show up to play. The boys in blue need to do their bit too. Whether or not they will is an open question. If we don't get a win here, it's time to head for the lifeboats...

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join We Ain't Got No History

You must be a member of We Ain't Got No History to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at We Ain't Got No History. You should read them.

Join We Ain't Got No History

You must be a member of We Ain't Got No History to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at We Ain't Got No History. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker