Manchester City – Bolton

City suffered an unexpected defeat in last round, on the road from Hull. They had a comfortable approach to the game and it resulted with two conceded goals. They woke up after, but was too late. However, it was the third defeat in Mancini’s era (Hughes had only two and got sacked) and this game could be decisive in their CL pursuit. They have top quality players, but main problem is how to motivate them. Owners promised last week generous rewards (good way in my opinion) for reaching CL spot and for winning FA Cup. Citizens will play in next rounds against Liverpool and Chelsea and in case of another failure tonight will find themselves very far from promised money. Craig Bellamy will see a specialist about his long-standing knee injury and he won’t appear. City have scored in 21 consecutive home matches and in last four at least twice. 

Bolton are first above the relegation line with just a single point more. In this game they go after an unlucky home draw against Fulham. Trotters missed some very good chances for a lead and at the end were short for probably regular goal cancelled by referee. Owen Coyle obviously made a positive impact, but it’s also obvious they lack in quality. And that level of quality will be even more damaged tonight, as Coyle will miss key defender Gary Cahill (has suffered a blood clot in his arm and is set to miss the rest of the season) and best goal scorer with 7 goals, second scorer Klasnic (6 goals), on-loan winger Vladimir Weiss, while Andy O'Brien (thigh) and Fabrice Muamba (ankle) are both doubtful. Bolton have kept one clean sheet in their last 23 Premier League away matches.

As I wrote, the main problem for Citizens is motivation and probably the best way for it is money. The class difference is more than obvious and with correct approach it will be a win by few goals margin. Trotters will try to keep a goalless draw, but with first goal conceded the game for them will be finished. Home handicap win. 

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