Chelsea hosts Bolton at Stamford Bridge in a huge game for both teams on Feb. 25. Chelsea is trying to finish in the top four in the English Premier League to make sure they qualify for the Champions League next season while Bolton is trying to dig themselves out of the relegation zone. Chelsea sits in a tie for fourth place in the league table with Arsenal and are even on goal difference. They have 43 points from 12 wins, seven draws and six defeats while Bolton is in 19th place with six wins, two draws and 17 losses. They have 20 points, just one ahead of last-place Wigan and one behind Wolves, Blackburn, and QPR.
The big news for Chelsea this week was their 3-1 Champions League loss away to Napoli. Manager Andre Villas-Boas is under the gun for the way he’s handling the team and they haven’t won a game in any competition in their last five. Also, captain John Terry is on the shelf with an injury. They blew a 3-0 lead to Man United at home in a 3-3 draw and also drew Birmingham, 1-1 in an FA Cup match.
There are rumours that Villas-Boas could be sacked soon and several of the club’s experienced players seem to be against him in the dressing room. The bad results also have something to do with it and if they can’t beat Bolton at home he could be sacked sooner than later. That puts some players in a dilemma as they may be glad to see their manager go, but they can’t afford to lose if they want to play in the Champions League next year.
Bolton seem to be quite clueless under the management of Owen Coyle and his job should also be on the line. Also, selling Gary Cahill, one of their best players, to Chelsea isn’t the answer. Bolton only managed to avoid relegation last season due to the goal scoring exploits of striker Daniel Sturridge, who was on loan to them from Chelsea. Coyle also allowed Johan Elmander to leave for Turkish side Galatasaray in the offseason on a free transfer.
Bolton has been hit by injuries as well since midfielders Chung-Yong Lee and Stuart Holden have been sidelined most of the year. They managed to win their last game, which was a 2-0 win over Championship League team Millwall in the FA Cup. They’ll also likely be without Ricardo Gardner, and Tyrone Mears against Chelsea and striker Kevin Davies will be a game-time decision. Villas-Boas will have a full squad to choose from other than Terry.
Chelsea has been struggling a lot lately, but Bolton is one of the worst sides in the league. Look for Chelsea to win by at least two goals.
Sportsbook William Hill as the current odds of a Chelsea win at 1/3 with a Bolton victory at 8/1 and a draw at 4/1.