Another matchday coming up with another injury crisis looming over Bolton Wanderers. A few players took knocks against Swansea and some of them will be game-time fitness decisions. Bolton need the maximum three points against Aston Villa in order to maintain hope of Premier League survival. The result against Swansea City wasn't the worst thing in the world for the team but it certainly wasn't the best.
Bolton sit in 19th place on 30 points, four adrift from safety. They will be taking on an Aston Villa side who are only five points from the drop zone.
Darren Pratley missed the Swansea clash due to a virus and he will still be battling it come Villa. Tuncay Sanli is also out with tonsillitis and has returned to Germany to be taken care of. Mark Davies and Ryo Miyaichi picked up knocks during the match and will have their fitness tested late. The worse case scenario? Bolton have one fit central midfielder in Nigel Reo-Coker.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa are not without their own injury issues. Center back James Collins has been ruled out with a groin injury following the team's 0-0 draw with Sunderland last Saturday. Gabriel Agbonlahor suffered a shoulder injury but will have his fitness checked before the Bolton match. Right back Alan Hutton will make his way back into the side and Carlos Cuellar will move to center back. If Agbonlahor is not fit, Emile Heskey will take his place.
"We have to make sure we are ready to give five big performances and pick up enough points to stay in the league. Everyone knows it is the business end of the season. We have five games as opposed to everyone else's three but one or two of them have picked up points to get them in the bag (already). There are six points available from the games in hand. If you told me we'd get six points from those games, you'd do somersaults to get them. We'd have loved to have those points in the bag, but we have the opportunity and we have to maximise that opportunity. The bottom line is that we decide our own fate."
Bolton have had some luck on the road this season with more than half (five of nine) of their wins coming away from home. However, scoring issues are still prevalent as the men in white have mustered just one goal in their last three matches. In the last two meetings of these two sides (Premier League and Carling Cup), the away side has taken the victory. Finally, Aston Villa have gone nearly four hours of match time without a Premier League goal. Sparse.
Bolton need to take advantage of their games in hand (this being one). The clock is ticking. COYWM