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vs Bolton: Match Preview


JohnCresswell
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Oh goodness me, it’s another game live on television. Villa travel to Bolton on Sunday bidding to win their first game away from home broadcast on television for the first time in what feels like since time itself began.

Kick Off ?

Sunday 28th October 2007, 1.30pm

Where Can I Watch It Live?

The usual places. Villa World is featuring Captain Jack Woodward will be covering the game as usual, and of course as previously mentioned this game is one being featured on Sky Sports. For anyone wishing to do something a little bit different, the game is being screened live in the new Holte Pub at Villa Park – with a variety of food and drink on offer too.

Fear not those who are worried about our showings on television in recent years. Last time w were on SKY, we beat Chelsea. So there’s some hope. We are now at the end of October and have now been on television six times already. Surely this is some kind of record for us?

What is the history between the two sides?

Bolton are the same age as ourselves, both being formed in 1874. It’s safe to say though, that of the two clubs, Villa have been the most successful in the past 133 years.

There’s no particular history – be it hatred or good will between the two sides, but it’ll be a chance for both Gavin McCann and J’Lloyd Samuel to play against Villa for the first time since their moves up north in the Summer. Samuel may miss out after picking up an injury a few weeks ago, but Gavin McCann may be relishing playing against a Villa team who are missing his replacement due to suspension.

I must admit I cannot remember too many games when Villa have been victorious at the Reebok. The main game sticking in the memory is th2004 Carling Cup 5-2 first leg loss, where Bolton scored a number of stunners helped out by ridiculous Villa defending (heard of that before?). It was also the game where Juan Pablo Angel scored with an outrageous cross/shot.

Another Bolton vs Villa game of recent years is of course one of the most dull FA Cup semi finals to have ever been played at Wembley. Bolton were the better team that day, despite being in a division lower than us, and Dean Holdsworth even managed to miss an open goal nearly as bad as the famous Ronnie Rozenthal effort. Villa hung on, and went on to win on penalties.

Last year’s game at the Reebok was the last one of the season, and ended in a 2-2 draw.

What’s the team news?

John Carew is making progress in his return from injury, but isn’t expected to be fit in time to play, meaning Luke Moore is expected to start up front alongside Gabby Agbonlahor. Martin O’Neill signaled his intention to change the side following the defensive horror show against Manchester United, so don’t be surprised to see Curtis Davies in the team making his first start in the league since his loan move. Carson is likely to be replaced by Stuart Taylor and Nigel Reo-Coker is also suspended, so expect Petrov to take his place. Isaiah Osbourne is struggling to be fit, and following his hatrick midweek I expect Marlon Harewood may get a place on the bench. Patrick Berger is also fit again.

Bolton appear to have other things on their mind. They would just be happy to have a manager. Having sacked Sammy Lee so soon after appointing him, they have settled on trying to appoint a manager who has been in his job shorter than the previous incumbent. Gary Megson lhas joined the club one month after joining Leicester City. It’s an odd choice, particularly as other than one good season at West Bromwich Albion, he doesn’t appear to have anything on his footballing C.V that would make him much of a candidate for the job at all.

Beating Villa was of course, one of the three wins in nine games that Megson managed in the nine games he was in the East Midlands.

What’s the Prediction?

This is a tough one. Villa need to bounce back from the Manchester United result in a big way. It’s obvious that we have huge talents at the club, but we also have some pretty big weaknesses too and it’s hard to tell which Villa will be coming out. Add to it a team with a new manager, one who seems to be able to get results when playing Villa, I think Anelka and Diouf may want to prove a point. And that’s what I think Villa will get. A 1-1 draw.

Why Should We Beat Them?

Because now is the perfect time to do so. Their fans are at their lowest, and have a new manager who from what I’ve read on forums nobody at all wants. Bolton is seen as some kind of “King of Pieland”. I’m sorry, no pie beats the Balti pie, thanks very much. The Reebok is an example of everything that is wrong with English stadia. It’s soulless. It’s got a sponsored name. They play stupid songs after home goals to try and get the fans singing. It’s pathetic. They have a player who seems to believe its alright to spit at people. The same player nearly ran one of our moderators off the road, apparently.

Bolton seems to try to market itself as some big city of it’s own right. No it’s not. Its just an extension of Manchester. And that’s no proud boast. On looking up facts on Bolton, one poster said this of what they thought was the best restaurant – “Ye Olde Pastie Shoppie, Churchgate. Mmmmmm” . speaks for itself, that does.

To be fair, Bolton does have a particular talent. That talent is producing irritating celebrities. Sara Cox, Vernon Kay, Paul Nicholls (the bloke who played someone going mad and wrapped himself up in tin foil in Eastenders) and ‘Danny’ from the ultimate band of bad taste, McFly. Not to mention Peter Kay, who has managed to make a decent 60 minute stand up gig last four dvds, two tv series and some comic relief songs. Why not actually write some new material, eh?

Why Should We Like Them?

I feel sorry for them, to be honest. They’ve managed something no one else has – they’ve come up, stayed up and improved every season and are now regularly getting into Europe. And then, the manager leaves and the chairman has gone for the cheap option twice – and they are falling and falling. The appointment of Megson may give them a few points to begin with, but he’ll quickly fall out with the players who have the talent to keep them up with the goals they need.

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I think the Meggo factor could come into play here. He's done us once this season, with a worse side.

However, i still think we'll win.

Mr Moore to register twice in a 2-0 win.

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