Preview: Bolton v Fulham

12 August 2010 03:20
Bolton Wanderers entertain Fulham on Saturday afternoon at the Reebok Stadium as another Premier League campaign gets off and running. The Trotters will be looking for an opening-day victory on home soil while Fulham, now under the guidance of Mark Hughes, won't want to make the long trip back to London without any points in the bag. Bolton manager Owen Coyle will want to see more from big-money signing Johan Elmander after his less than impressive start to life in Lancashire. The Sweden international must get amongst the goals this term and help the club fight their expected relegation battle alongside veteran Kevin Davies and Ivan Klasnic, who has joined on a two-year deal after his successful loan spell last term. Gary Cahill continues to be linked with a move away from the north-west, but he will be the big figure at the heart of the defence. Fulham now boast powerful centre-half Philippe Senderos after he joined from London rivals Arsenal and he could form a sturdy partnership alongside Brede Hangeland. On the injury front, Gavin McCann is struggling to shake off an ankle problem while team-mate Joey O'Brien remains stricken with a long-standing knee injury. Hughes' return to Premier League life will see his side lacking left-winger Damien Duff and striker Andrew Johnson. The talented duo have knee concerns and the game is likely to come too soon for the pair. Both teams should go into this one in confident mood after promising friendly victories last weekend. Bolton secured a 2-0 win over Spanish side Osasuna thanks to a tidy strike from Elmander and a headed goal from Chung-Yong Lee while Fulham hammered Werder Bremen 5-1 at Craven Cottage. Although former Chelsea striker Claudio Pizarro scored an early opener, Fulham dominated proceedings in the second half when they ran riot. England striker Bobby Zamora equalised before Hungarian Zoltan Gera grabbed an 11-minute hat-trick. American Eddie Johnson then added the icing on the cake when he chipped in with just minutes to play. Last season the two sides played out a 1-1 draw in the capital when Klasnic opened the scoring on 35 minutes before Duff restored parity with just 15 minutes to go. At the Reebok Stadium, the teams played out a miserable goalless draw at the start of February, but things could have been different if referee Mark Clattenburg had not cancelled out Davies' last-gasp header for a foul.

Source: ESA