Game : Liverpool (1st-39 points) vs Bolton Wanderers ( 9th-23 points)
Venue : Anfield, Liverpool
Date : December 26, 2008 ( Boxing Day)
Competition : English Premier League
Kickoff : 15.00 GMT
Liverpool will look to preserve their lead at the top of the table when they host Bolton Wanderers in an afternoon fixture on Boxing Day. Despite numerous recent slip ups, the Reds remain at the top of the table thanks to Chelsea’s inability to capitalise, and Benitez will know that they cannot tempt fate too much.
Fernando Torres is likely to make a surprise return to the bench, and Emiliano Insua will keep his place at left back as Andrea Dossena and Fabio Aurelio are injured.
Liverpool form- last five games- all competitions
Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool ( Robbie Keane)
Liverpool 2-2 Hull City ( Steven Gerrard*2)
PSV 1-3 Liverpool ( Ryan Babel, Albert Riera, David N’Gog)
Blackburn 1-3 Liverpool ( Xabi Alonso, Yossi Benayoun, Steven Gerrard)
Liverpool 0-0 West Ham
Bolton moved of the relegation zone in November winning four out of their five league games, but stumbled against Chelsea and Aston Villa in December. Gary Megson’s side are currently ninth in the table. Their recent away form has been good, winning three of their last four games away from the Reebok.
Bolton Wanderers- last five games- form ( all competitions)
Bolton 2-1 Portsmouth ( Matt Taylor, Ricardo Gardner)
Aston Villa 4-2 Bolton Wanderers ( Johan Elmander, Simon Davies)
Bolton 0-2 Chelsea
Sunderland 1-4 Bolton ( Johan Elmander*2, Gary Cahill, Matt Taylor)
M’Boro 1-3 Bolton ( Steinsson, Matt Taylor, Johan Elmander)
Bolton lost this game 4-0 last year. Liverpool have won their last four Premier League games against the Trotters, and will be favourites to win. Something tells me that Bolton can come out with a point here- say a 1-1, with Elmander and Gerrard scoring. If Liverpool do play to their full potential, I think they’ll win this 2-1, with Gerrard, Keane and Elmander scoring.