A mere three days after our match against the Toffees, our lovely Wanderers will be wandering their way down to Stamford Bridge. I;m not particularly relishing the prospect as the Carling Cup is the only silverware we even have a slight chance of winning, since most clubs treat it like a joke. I really don't want to go out to Chelsea. However it should prove good practice for our next match against them which is only three days after our first match with them. I'll, time permitting, do a preview for both, however the second one will probably be a lot shorter.
So, of course, here's the link to the lengthy, semi-meaningless statistics provided by the lovely BBC. They did, however, fail to include a very encouraging statistic. 11 out of Bolton's 14 league goals have been off set pieces, and 9 out of Chelsea's 11 conceded goals this season have been off set pieces. Chelsea's defense has been pretty poor this season, a great quote from The Guardian's Football Weekly podcast says it all:
"They've changed to a rubbish defense system, where Carvalho doesn't mark anyone, Cech runs out and flaps and John Terry kicks things."
Bolton have also seen a rise from their intolerable form at the beginning of the season, to attacking, flowing football which everyone lauds so highly (of course they don't laud Bolton. No one lauds Bolton.) Matty Taylor's free kicks have been spot on with a variety of Trotters kindly directing them into the net. Sam Ricketts who I so recently criticized rather harshly performed wonderfully in the Everton game, wreaking havoc along the right flank (he probably read it and felt the need to prove me wrong, you know how spiteful the Welsh are.*)
While Chelsea will have been bolstered by their 5-0 demolition of Blackburn, it shouldn't be forgotten that they recently lost to Aston Villa and Wigan. We should also keep in mind that Chelsea are in 4 competitions, of which the Carling Cup is the least important. I would be rather surprised if they fielded a full strength side, after all they need their top players to store up energy for the big clash against... well us again this weekend.
Overall I definitely think Bolton have a shot of at least taking it into extra time. If we're going to beat them at all it will probably be on Wednesday and not Saturday. I just really hope we make Chelsea look a little foolish, as my English teacher is a Chelsea fan and it would be amazing to make fun of him a bit. Keep an eye out for the multitude of posts I'll be doing soon (Everton report, 1st Chelsea game report, 2nd Chelsea game preview, it never ends does it?) Til then my dears!
*DISCLAIMER: The Welsh are a lovely people and in no way spiteful. It was a joke.