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Bolton Wanderers v. Swansea City: Match Preview

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Last time Bolton faced Swansea City in the league, the Wanderers came away with what was to be only the beginning of a stream of disappointing results, losing 3-1, the consolation goal an own goal scored by Danny Graham. 6 months later, Bolton are in 18th and in desperate need to put some points on the board in their remaining 6 games. In their more recent clash in the FA Cup, the Trotters were just about able to hold their own against Swans' slick passing, but the stakes are higher now.


Luckily, in sight of this, Bolton do stand a chance of getting a result this weekend. Swansea have not been able to perform away from home this season, and while Fortress Reebok is not what it once was (Bolton have won more games away from home than at home this season), it should work in the Wanderers' favour. The team and the fan base have both undergone a stuttering rejuvenation, inspired by Fabrice Muamba's recovery, and that will have hopefully been rekindled as the midfielder was released from hospital earlier this week.

What won't help the home side is Swansea's fluid style of play. The Welsh side has attempted and completed more passes than any other team in the league, something that will challenge Bolton's shaky midfield and defense. In their last game, Owen Coyle once again went with the 4-5-1, with Darren Pratley, Nigel Reo-Coker, and Mark Davies in charge of the centre of the park. It is arguably the combination that Bolton have seen the most success from but has been undeniably hit and miss.

It does help that Swansea have also been hit or miss recently, as they've won 4 and lost 4 of their last eight Premiership matches. Swansea don't have the motivation going into this match that Bolton do, as they are safe in 12th place on 42 points. It's an opportunity that Bolton can't afford to squander. Survival is still attainable for the men in white, but they need to start picking up points again soon if they want to stay in the Premiership.