Chelsea come into this on the back of three draws and a loss in the league, not to mention a draw in the FA Cup and an embarrassing Champions League result midweek. Bolton won their FA Cup match last week, but are coming off two losses and a draw in the league (We all know what caused the losses, I am not going to get into it). It is two clubs in poor form, but also two clubs that occupy not just different places in the football universe, but different planets.
Bolton's sugar daddy, Eddie Davies, is worth ₤60 million, which makes him the 558th richest person in the UK. Roman Abramovich, Chelsea's owner, is worth ₤8.4 billion, making him the 53rd richest person in the world. To put it another way, if Eddie Davies scored 25 goals a season, Abromavich could buy him for his entire net worth without a second thought. Davies has 1/140 of Abromavich's money.
Given that, we all know that tomorrow's match is not a fair fight. Luckily, results aren't decided on money alone, we do have to play the games. The question is, do Bolton stand a chance?
Way back on October 2nd, Chelsea came into the Reebok and beat Bolton (Slaughtered might be a better word) 5-1.
One player who started that match has switched sides. Two more (Kevin Davies and Ricardo Gardner) will not play because of injury, and another three (Paul Robinson, Dedryck Boyata, and Darren Pratley) couldn't find their way into tomorrow's starting XI with a map and a torch. The only notable difference for Chelsea is that Gary Cahill will start instead of John Terry. Discuss amongst yourselves whether or not that is an improvement.
Chelsea will play their standard 4-3-3, Manager Andre Villas-Boas will urge his players to press up the field, attack and move in hope of breaking down a vulnerable Bolton defense. Unfortunately for the Portugese gaffer, Frank Lampard and most of the aging Chelsea players will ignore him.
Bolton will (If Owen Coyle's brain has returned to functioning status at least) play a 4-5-1, with just about the same starting XI that beat Liverpool and held Arsenal a few weeks ago. Ryo Miyaichi will probably get his first league start in place of Chris Eagles, and Tim Ream could unseat Zatyiah Knight in the center of defense.
I don't think we will see another 5-1, in fact I think this will be a very tight match, with more than a few goals scored. Call it 2-2, a result that doesn't really help either club.