Premier League: Manchester City vs. Bolton Wanderers
Sixth placed Manchester City host lowly neighbors Bolton Wanderers tonight (19:45 GMT) with the big spending club determined to bounce back from a huge upset at Hull over the weekend.
The Citizens suffered a blow in the race for fourth place as they lost 2-1 at KC Stadium on Saturday. Goals from Jozy Altidore and George Boateng secured the win, and despite an Emmanuel Adebayor goal, the team hardly threatened to equalize.
“In the first half we played the ball around very, very slowly, and we know that Hull at home are a different side— more aggressive,” said City boss Roberto Mancini.
A victory this evening will put the Citizens on level points with Liverpool who face a massive clash with Arsenal at the Emirates tomorrow.
City and Bolton fought out a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Reebok in December, with Carlos Tevez and Ivan Klasnic both netting a brace. Mancini has now lost two of his six Premier League games in charge (6 in all competitions), the same amount lost by his predecessor in the previous seventeen matches.
However, the Italian says he is confident his team can still finish in the top four. He said: “You must remember we have two games in hand and if we win these we will be in fourth position and be one point behind Arsenal.”
Meanwhile Welsh striker Craig Bellamy will miss tonight’s game with a medial ligament strain to his right knee. The injury is not thought to be serious but it raises questions over his availability during what Mancini described as a “crucial” month for his team in their pursuit of a top-four finish.
UPDATE: Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor struck either side of the interval to give City a 2-0 win over Bolton at Eastlands. The victory took the Citizens to 44 points, the same as fourth-place Liverpool.