I actually got to attend this fixture last season. It was Boxing Day, and I traveled up from nearby Chorley (where my gran lived) via the supporters bus. There were only about 2000 of us Bolton fans against a fairly full Anfield, but we sang the whole time (despite losing) and left in high spirits. It was a great game. Anyway, this time it's a whole different story. Last season Liverpool were challenging for the title and this season their fighting for the Champions League.
Not only are Liverpool struggling fantastically this season, but Bolton have just received a boost in the form of St. Owen. Liverpool's managerial situation is a little less firm, with rumors Benitez is off to Juve after his stop-and-go season.
Bolton will also be coming off of a meaningful win, while Liverpool are coming off an uninspiring goalless draw against Wolves. They apparently played fairly shit football and didn't look like scoring. A little birdy (and by a little birdy I mean the BBC) tells me that Bolton haven't won at Anfield in 56 years. Well honestly, it looks like we might actually get something out of this game, maybe even break that streak.
Bolton are mostly unhindered by injuries (the list may look long but it breaks down to people who have been injured all season, haven't played all season, and Mark Davies). We are also without newly signed American Stuart Holden, who I was really looking forward to watching as he has two things most Bolton players lack: speed and creativity. The squad has been given a boost in the form of Arsenal's Jack Wilshere, the deal was completed just this morning. Fortunately for Bolton Liverpool's most dangerous player, Nando, is still out injured, as is Glen Johnson who is a good attacking force. Benayoun, who has had a good season is out with a broken rib, and Aurelio is doubtful. Gerrard will be playing (probably) however, and any England fan knows what a threat he is.
I'm optimistic for this match, we have a Bolton team who performed well against Arsenal (twice) and can also grind out a result if need be, against a Liverpool team who can't seem to play well for more than two games in a row. I've always said Benitez is mad as a hatter, but this season he's really proving me right, resting people inexplicably and providing generally poor tactics. I'm thinking we could come away with at least one point, maybe even all three. So come on you whites!