Bolton match preview

Barclays FA Premier League
West Ham United v Bolton Wanderers
Boleyn Ground
Sunday 5 October
Referee: Mike Dean

WHUTV - Full audio commentary I Live on Sky Sports


* West Ham United welcome Bolton Wanderers to the Boleyn Ground on Sunday for their fourth Barclays Premier League home game of the season.

* It will be Gianfranco Zola's third Barclays Premier League game in charge and he will be aiming to maintain his 100 per cent record in the league so far following the wins against Newcastle United and Fulham.

* The home side will be looking to make it three wins in a row in the top flight for the first time since the end of the 2006/07 season and if they succeed, it will the club's biggest points return ever after seven games of a Barclays Premier League season.

* West Ham United still have the best home record in the Barclays Premier League with three wins from three and secured their first away win of the season at Craven Cottage last Saturday. Bolton, meanwhile, have the worst away record in the league - losing all three away from the Reebok Stadium.

* United sit fifth with four wins and two defeats from their opening six games and have a plus three goal difference. Bolton are 17th with one win and a draw.

* The hosts could move a point clear at the top of the table if other results go their way, while the highest their guests could climb is twelfth.

* Zola said: "Bolton are a team we have to respect. Last time they lost 2-0 to Manchester United but they were very unlucky and played very well so it is going to be tough. They put many bodies behind the ball so it won't be easy to find space for us. They are also a threat from set-pieces so we will need to perform well against them.

* Speaking to the official Bolton site, Matthew Taylor said: "We haven't had the rub of the green and last Saturday [against Manchester United] was another example of that, but that's the way it's going and we just need to be a bit more ruthless in front of goal. We are doing ok everywhere else on the pitch - it's just in the final third we need to put the ball in the back of the net."

* West Ham United have not had the greatest run against the Trotters in recent years, having only won twice in the last ten meetings. However, those two victories came in crucial matches - a 3-1 win in the penultimate game of the 2006/07 season to help ensure survival and a fifth round FA Cup replay success in the 2005/06 season as part of the run that would take United all the way to Cardiff for the final.

* Wanderers have only won once at the Boleyn Ground since 1964 and the team from east London have won five of the last eight meetings between the two at the stadium, with Wanderers winning just once.

* The hosts will be looking to keep a clean sheet - a feat not achieved in 18 matches since 23 February.

* West Ham United are next in league action on Sunday 19 October away to Hull City while Bolton Wanderers play host to Blackburn Rovers the previous day.

Last time out
Saturday 27 September - Fulham 1-2 West Ham United
West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Neill, Upson, Ilunga, Behrami, Parker (Boa Morte 90), Noble, Etherington (Mullins 80), Cole, Di Michele (Bellamy 74).
Subs Not Used: Lastuvka, Lopez, Davenport, Sears.
Goals: Cole 43, Etherington 45.

Saturday 27 September - Manchester United 2-0 Bolton Wanderers
Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Andrew O'Brien, Samuel, Davies, Nolan, McCann, Muamba, Gardner (Smolarek 73), Elmander (Vaz Te 66).
Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Taylor, Joey O'Brien, Riga, Shittu.

Team news

* Zola expects to have at least the same squad to the last game against Fulham as more players near a return to first-team action. James Collins and Lee Bowyer played 70 minutes for the reserves, when Jack Collison got the whole game, while James Tomkins also took part in full training this week. More good news is that Danny Gabbidon (abdominal) and Kieron Dyer (double leg break) are progressing well with their rehabilitation.

* Craig Bellamy is edging ever closer to a place in the starting XI after looking lively when coming on as a substitute against Fulham and Newcastle, and has impressed this week.

* Out of contract Spain striker Diego Tristan continues to train with the club on a trial basis, but he cannot play this weekend.

* Freddie Sears is also pushing for a starting berth after scoring all four goals for the reserves against West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday. Calum Davenport and Walter Lopez both played 90 minutes in the match.

* Dean Ashton had a successful operation on his ankle in the week but Zola says it is too early to set any dates for a comeback. The striker will definitely not play again before 2009 though. Jonathan Spector (hip) and Zavon Hines (knee) are the other players on the sidelines, while Jordan Spence is on England Under-19 duty.

* Bolton welcome back Matthew Taylor from a broken toe so Gary Megson has a fully fit squad to choose from.


* The last meeting of the clubs was a 1-0 win for Bolton at the Reebok Stadium on 12 April 2008, when a 47th-minute Kevin Davies goal was enough to give the home side the win.

* The lineups were:
West Ham United: Green, Spector, Ferdinand, Upson (Pantsil 4), McCartney, Parker, Collision (Cole 50), Mullins, Ashton, Zamora (Sears 66), Boa Morte
Subs not used: Walker, Tomkins

Fulham: Al Habsi, Steinsson, Andy O'Brien, Cahill, Samuel, Campo, Nolan, McCann, Taylor, Davies, Diouf
Subs not used: Walker, Giannakopoulos, Teymourian, Cohen, Rasiak.

Head to head (last six meetings, league unless stated)

12 April 2008 - Bolton Wanderers 1-0 West Ham United
4 November 2007 - West Ham United 1-1 Bolton Wanderers
5 May 2007 - West Ham United 2-1 Bolton Wanderers
9 December 2006 - Bolton Wanderers 4-0 West Ham United
15 March 2006 - West Ham United 2-1 Bolton Wanderers (FA Cup fifth round)
11 March 2006 - Bolton Wanderers 4-1 West Ham United

Overall record v Bolton (all competitions): W 22, D 10, L 28

Barclays Premier League fixtures (all 3pm unless stated)

Saturday 4 October
Blackburn Rovers v Manchester United (5.30pm)
Sunderland v Arsenal
West Bromwich Albion v Fulham
Wigan Athletic v Middlesbrough

Sunday 5 October
Chelsea v Aston Villa
Everton v Newcastle United (4pm)
Manchester City v Liverpool
Portsmouth v Stoke City
Tottenham Hotspur v Hull City

General information

For ticket information, click here  For details of getting to the Boleyn Ground click here

Weather: The forecast is for a cloudy day with some rain and a top temperature of around 16C.