It an FA Cup weekend and with a relatively boring set of games today (the South coast derby excluded), this looks to be a good game. I still think of the 2-all draw with Spurs at the Reebok as the highlight of Bolton's season. We played really well, passing crisply and getting real flowing moves. Quite a bit has changed for Bolton since then however, and I may not be writing the same story tomorrow as I did all those months ago.
Tottenham will be stinging after their midweek loss to Wolves, especially considering as a club they aren't just eying European football this season, they're going for Champions League. Despite the lofty goals in the league Harry Redknapp is not one to disregard the FA Cup or Bolton Wanderers. I feel fairly positive he will be putting out his first team, despite the 13 place gulf in class between the two clubs which the BBC so kindly pointed out. Spurs were not the team they usually are at midweek and I hope they carry that forward.
Bolton have several important players out (Cahill and Klasnic) and two of our promising newbies are cup-tied (Wilshere and Weiss), but Coyle does still have quite a bit to play around with. We have a fairly good defense, with the exception of Robinson on the left, a weakness Spurs will surely seek to exploit. Our other three defenders, especially the centers, will have to make up for this, and Matty Taylor will have to consider dropping back more. Our midfield is full of option, including newly signed, currently fit Stuart Holden, who I am very excited about. With Chung-Yong, Cohen, and Holden Coyle has 3 creative midfielders at his disposal, though I doubt he will play all three. In form Chung-Yong will certainly get the start, while Cohen, who's play recently has been disappointing will probably drop to the bench, leaving Muamba, Taylor, and Holden to round out the midfield. He has less option up front, with only two strikers to choose from to complete Bolton's usually 4-4-2,
Luka Modric, the architect of the Spurs midfield is almost certainly out due to illness, a great thing for the Wanderers given that Tottenham's play is invariably of a lower quality without him. I reckon Bolton really could get a result out of this game, advancing them the farthest they've been in 4 years. I'll be up bright and early tomorrow morning, drinking coffee out of my Nat Lofthouse mug, and wearing my Bolton scarf to cheer the boys on. I'll be back later with a report, til then everyone and happy Valentine's!