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Preview: Bolton v Aston Villa
01 Apr 2010 - 15:26:48
Aston Villa's hopes of securing a Champions League spot took another hammer blow at the weekend, courtesy of their 7-1 capitulation at Stamford Bridge last week.
However, the Villans' record against Bolton suggests that a recovery may be on the cards this weekend, with the Birmingham side having lost just once to the Trotters in their last 14 meetings.
Villa attackers Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor will be chomping at the bit ahead of this clash, with the two England men bagging three and four goals respectively over the course of their last three games with Bolton.
However, a man still left out in the cold by England, Kevin Davies, will be hoping to stop the rot against Villa.
The muscular targetman has scored seven Premier League goals against the club and the Reebok Stadium faithful will be hoping he can add to that as the Trotters look to secure their Premier League status.
Wanderers continue to improve under the stewardship of Owen Coyle, and have picked up a vital nine points from their last six games, form which is keeping them clear of the dreaded drop zone.
Villa will be without Nigel Reo-Coker and Emile Heskey both for this game and for the foreseeable future, while striker John Carew also now faces a spell on the sidelines with a back problem.
Midfielders Gavin McCann and Sean Davis are both long term absentees for Bolton.
However, the Trotters will be delighted with Gary Cahill's recovery having welcomed him back to the starting XI against Manchester United.
Bolton defender Zat Knight will be in contention to face his former club and the big man will be well aware of his former boss' thinking in the wake of Villa's thrashing at Stamford Bridge.
"Knowing Martin O'Neill, they will have been in first thing on Monday morning watching the video of every single goal in minute detail," said Knight.
Villa players Stiliyan Petrov and James Collins have both expressed their remorse to the fans, while boss Martin O'Neill is himself keen for his side to learn from their dismal performance at Stamford Bridge.
"We are capable of turning it round. I think the players have shown that this season. That was a devastating blow but nevertheless a lesson," said the Villa boss.