Bolton vs Chelsea preview

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Updated: October 1, 2011

Bolton will be hoping to kick-start their Premier League campaign when they host Chelsea at the Reebok Stadium on Sunday.

Bolton began the season with a clinical 4-0 victory away to QPR, but the Trotters have now lost five Premier League matches in succession and are bottom of the table. Chelsea, conversely, have only lost once and sit in third place, three points behind the two Manchester clubs.

Bolton’s miserable form has coincided with a difficult fixture list. The Trotters have already played both Manchester clubs, Liverpool and Arsenal, losing by an aggregate score of 3-14. Owen Coyle’s men also suffered a disappointing 1-2 loss at home to Norwich.

Chelsea have enjoyed an indifferent start to the Premier League but have won four of their six matches. The Pensioners started with a 0-0 draw before recording narrow, laboured victories over West Brom, Norwich and Sunderland. Chelsea were much improved against Manchester United but fell to a 3-1 defeat. Andre Villas-Boas’ charges bounced back last week and beat Swansea 4-1.

Chelsea were in the midst of their worst Premier League run for more than a decade when they faced Bolton at Stamford Bridge last December, but a Florent Malouda goal helped the Pensioners to a 1-0 victory. Chelsea then beat Bolton 4-0 at the Reebok Stadium a month later, with Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda, Nicolas Anelka and Ramires scoring.

Bolton will be missing the suspended David Wheater and Ivan Klasnic, who has scored three goals in five matches this season. Stuart Holden has re-injured his knee and will be absent for six months. Jussi Jaaskelainen and Gary Cahill are also slight injury worries.

Fernando Torres begins his suspension on Sunday and Chelsea will likely replace the Spaniard with Didier Drogba. Juan Mata and Daniel Sturridge have been two of Chelsea’s brightest and most promising players this season and could start either side of Drogba. Frank Lampard scored in midweek after not starting for four games and should keep his place in the side.

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