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Bolton vs. Arsenal: match preview

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MEERKAT...AWAYYYYY!
MEERKAT...AWAYYYYY!

Kickoff: Sunday, April 24, 11 AM EDT
The Reebok Stadium, Bolton
TV Coverage: Fox Soccer Channel

Arsenal travel to the Northwest tomorrow to face Bolton Wanderers for their 34th English Premier League match of the year.  Although time is running out, Arsenal are still within shouting distance of the top of the table and must win tomorrow to stay alive with any realistic hopes.

Midfielder Abou Diaby has been ruled out of the match and possibly the Manchester United match with a calf strain sustained in the Tottenham match on Wednesday.  Aside from long-term injuries to Thomas Vermaelen and Lukasz Fabianski, Arsenal are mostly healthy, if not exactly crisp and fresh, for tomorrow.  Shaun Ricketts and Stuart Holden will both be out for Bolton, while Mark Davies could return to action.  Bolton are mired in mid-table land on 43 points, good enough for eighth place but more or less equidistant from the European places and relegation in a tightly packed league table.

One suspects that Arsène Wenger will run out a similar lineup to the one used at Tottenham, his strongest attacking foursome of Theo van Nasregas a distinct possibility again.  It will be interesting to see if he does opt to rotate in some fresh faces for tired-looking players, perhaps letting Kieran Gibbs get a run in at left back, or bringing on Marouane Chamakh in attack as a sub.  Chances are, though, as long as Arsenal are mathematically involved, he will put out his strongest XI.

Possible lineup:

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy; Song, Wilshere, Fabregas; Nasri, van Persie, Walcott.