West Ham v Bolton Wanderers big match preview

West Ham United v Bolton Wanderers Saturday, March 6, 3pm Upton Park THE MERE mention of Bolton Wanderers is enough to send a shiver down the spine of any West Ham supporter. Not only have the Trotters beaten the Hammers at the dreaded Reebok Stadium twic

West Ham United v Bolton Wanderers

Saturday, March 6, 3pm

Upton Park

THE MERE mention of Bolton Wanderers is enough to send a shiver down the spine of any West Ham supporter.


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Not only have the Trotters beaten the Hammers at the dreaded Reebok Stadium twice already this campaign, they also come to Upton Park with last season's 3-1 victory to inspire them.

To say Bolton are something of a bogey-side for the Hammers is like saying that West Ham rarely get a result at Anfield - it is too apparent to even mention.

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That defeat last time at the Boleyn Ground saw Rob Green have the sort of calamitous day usually reserved for Hilario over at Chelsea, and he will be keen to make sure there are no repeat performances.

The Lancastrian's form certainly doesn't suggest that an away win is on the cards.

They sit one point and two places below West Ham in 15th, just two points above the drop zone.

The unpopular Gary Megson has been replaced by the unproven Owen Coyle and results have not really improved since his arrival.

They did beat Wolves last time out, their first win for seven matches, though Mick McCarthy's team deserved at least a point.

While their last two trips have seen a 4-0 defeat at Spurs and a 3-0 loss to Blackburn Rovers.

Bolton's only two away wins this season both came way back in September at Portsmouth (3-2) and Birmingham City (2-1) and so West Ham must be confident of not becoming a third victim.

Bolton remain a robust side under Coyle, with the awkward Kevin Davies, full of elbows and niggles, as their focal point.

Their habit of winning corners and then bombarding the West Ham goal is a tried and tested one which always seems to have the Hammers floundering without an answer.

Davies is the one to watch, though he only has five goals to his name, while Croatian Ivan Klasnic (6) and Korean Chung-Yong Lee have both scored against the Hammers this season.

Gary Cahill netted in both clashes this season as well as the one at Upton Park last term, but he will miss the game through injury, much to the relief of Green and his defence.

West Ham haven't beaten Bolton since 2007, when two goals from Carlos Tevez and another from Mark Noble had the game wrapped up in the first half hour during the Hammers' 'Great Escape' period.

West Ham will hope for more of the same on Saturday, but Bolton have a habit of getting under the Hammers' skin, and that could mean they have to settle for a draw.

POSSIBLE TEAM: Jaaskelainen, Knight, Robinson, Steinsson, Ricketts, Holden, Muamba, Wilshere, Lee, Davies, Klasnic.

Prediction:

West Ham 1 Bolton Wanderers 1

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