Chelsea have the opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the English Premier League to four points, by beating Bolton Wanderers tonight at the Stamford Bridge.
Branislav Ivanovic may be fit to start, but Paulo Ferreira’s excellent form of late means he may well keep his spot. Michael Ballack and Salomon Kalou will both start in place of Deco and Joe Cole, whilst there could be further rotation up front.
Bolton, in 15th place and six points from safety, will most likely use Kevin Davies as the lone forward in a 4-5-1 formation, despite Owen Coyle partnering him with Johan Elmander of late.
Chelsea and Bolton have clashed twice already this season, once in the Carling Cup and once in the league. Both matches finished 4-0 to Chelsea, thanks to goals from Kalou, Malouda, Deco and Drogba in the cup and a double from Drogba, plus goals from Deco and Ivanovic in the league encounter.
In the corresponding match last season, the Blues went 4-0 up after Ballack, Drogba (twice) and Lampard scored. Bolton though, scored three goals in nine minutes with Andy O’Brien, Chris Basham and Matt Taylor taking advantage of some shaky goalkeeping from Petr Cech.
Didier Drogba is closing in on Wayne Rooney in the race for the Premier League golden boot and he’ll be looking to fill his boots against a Wanderers outfit ready for the taking. His tally of 25 is just one short of the Manchester United striker.
Ladbrokes has Chelsea as unbackable 1/7 favourites to extend their league lead. The draw is 13/2 and Bolton are rank outsiders at 16/1.