Bolton Wanderers match preview

Barclays Premier League
Reebok Stadium
Saturday 12 April
Referee: Peter Walton

WHUTV - Pre-match press conference and live commentary to come
WESTHAM.WAP.COM - All the news, on the move


* West Ham United, tenth in the Barclays Premier League, go to Bolton Wanderers knowing victory could move the club within two places of Manchester City, depending on their result at Sunderland.

* A win would also keep United at least four points clear of Tottenham Hotspur in eleventh with just four fixtures remaining. Of those final games, three are at home and one is away.

* At least two wins from the final five games would take West Ham United to the 50-point mark in the top flight - something the club has only managed seven times in the previous 14 seasons since 1992/93.

* The last time West Ham United finished a top-flight campaign with a positive goal difference was the 1985/86 season (+34).  The club is currently -5.

* Alan Curbishley's men were involved in the only Barclays Premier League game played midweek, a 1-0 home defeat by Portsmouth. Niko Kranjcar scored the only goal on 61 minutes.

* West Ham United have won two, drawn two and lost two of the last six meetings between the clubs in all competitions. However, the last two trips to the Reebok Stadium have ended in 4-0 and 4-1 defeats respectively.

* The last victory at Bolton came on 18 November 1995. Since then the club have drawn two and lost five in all competitions. That last win saw the visitors score three goals in the second half through Ian Bishop (46), Tony Cottee (68) and Danny Williamson (89).

Last match

West Ham United v Portsmouth (8 April): Green, Neill, Spector, Ferdinand, McCartney, Solano (Pantsil 82), Mullins (Cole 73), Parker, Boa Morte, Ashton, Zamora.
Subs not used: Walker, Tomkins
Goal: Kranjcar 61

Aston Villa 4-0 Bolton Wanderers (5 April): Al Habsi, Steinsson, Cahill, Andrew O'Brien, Taylor, Guthrie, McCann, Joey O'Brien (Cohen 83), Davies, Helguson, Diouf.
Subs not used: Walker, Samuel, Giannakopoulos, Campo.
Goals: Barry 9, 60, Agbonlahor 56, Harewood 85

Team news

* Matthew Upson has been training fully all week and is set to return on Saturday for the first time since 5 March. Jonathan Spector and James Tomkins have both filled in at centre-back in his absence. There could be a change at right-back with Lucas Neill not certain to be fit after turning his ankle late in the game against Portsmouth.

* Bobby Zamora (foot) and Freddie Sears (groin) both returned against Portsmouth while George McCartney and John Pantsil also featured, having previously had hamstring and concussion concerns respectively.

* Mark Noble also did not figure against Portsmouth with a hamstring injury suffered last week. He is doubtful this weekend.

* Julien Faubert played 45 minutes in Wednesday night's 2-1 reserve-team win against Derby County. His fitness is being assessed ahead of pre-season but there is a possibility he could figure again before the end of this campaign. Jack Collison was rested and he has travelled to Bolton along with stand-in second string captain Tony Stokes, who scored the first goal against Derby.

* Jimmy Walker, who played 90 minutes against Derby on Wednesday, continues to be the No2 behind Robert Green, with Richard Wright out on loan. Marek Stech, 18, is back in training after an ankle ligament injury.

* Bolton saw Heidar Helguson, for the first time since February, and Joey O'Brien return in last week's defeat against Aston Villa with Jloyd Samuel and Matthew Taylor dropping to the bench. Jussi Jaaskelainen (back), Nicky Hunt (shoulder) and Ricardo Gardner (ribs) are all set to miss out.

* One positive news for Bolton is that captain Kevin Nolan is available again after a two-match ban, although he has been troubled by a back injury of late.


* After 33 games last season, West Ham United were five points from safety and had just 29 points compared to the 44 they have achieved from the same number of matches this campaign.

* West Ham United and Bolton last met for a 1-1 draw on Sunday 4 November at the Boleyn Ground. George McCartney scored his first goal for the club in the 20th minute but Nolan equalised in the third minute of added time.

The lineups were:

West Ham United: Green, Neill, Gabbidon, Upson, McCartney, Solano, Mullins (Spector 50), Bowyer (Pantsil 85), Etherington, Boa Morte, Cole (Camara 72)
Subs not used: Wright, Reid

Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Hunt (McCann 81), O'Brien, Meite (Michalik 46), Gardner, Diouf, Guthrie, Nolan, Campo, Speed (Samuel 78), Davies
Subs not used: Al Habsi, Giannakopoulos

* United's last away trip to Bolton came on 9 December 2006 and ended in a 4-0 loss for Curbishley's side. Kevin Davies (17 and 52), El Hadj Diouf (77) and Nicola Anelka (78) scored the goals.

* The 2-1 defeat at Sunderland was the first time in 15 league matches this season when Curbishley's team had lost after taking the lead.

* Green has kept eight clean sheets in 32 league games.

* McCartney has now made 39 appearances this season in all competitions. He has not missed a match since sitting out the 4-3 home defeat by Tottenham Hotspur on 4 March 2007 - an unbroken run of 48 games.

* McCartney is the only West Ham United player who has featured in every league and cup game to date, starting in each one.

* In terms of the Premier League, only Green has played every minute of the 33 matches.

* Carlton Cole, like Kevin Davies, is one caution away from a two-match ban after picking up his ninth yellow card of the season at Sunderland. However, this threat of a two-match suspension only applies to any player receiving ten cautions before the end of the second Sunday in April - which comes with the trip to Bolton.

* No Bolton player has appeared in every top-flight game this season.

* Ashton, with eight goals, seven in the league, is the club's leading scorer. Since the departure of Anelka in the January transfer window, Nolan and Diouf with five goals apiece are the home side's leading scorers in league and cup.

* West Ham United will next be in action on Saturday when Derby County travel to the Boleyn Ground while Bolton head to the Riverside to take on Middlesbrough.

Last six meetings

4 November 2007 - West Ham United 1-1 Bolton Wanderers (Premier League)
5 May 2007 - West Ham United 3-1 Bolton Wanderers (Premier League)
9 December 2006 - Bolton Wanderers 4-0 West Ham United (Premier League)
15 March 2006 - West Ham United 2-1 Bolton Wanderers (FA Cup)
11 March 2006 - Bolton Wanderers 4-1 West Ham United (Premier League)
18 February 2006 - Bolton Wanderers 0-0 West Ham United (FA Cup)

All-time record versus Bolton: W 22 D 10 L 27

General information

Tickets: For latest information, click here. For details of getting to the Reebok Stadium, click here

Weather: The forecast is for rain and a chilly afternoon. The temperature is set to be around the 9C mark.