I did make a sort of preview for this one in my precurrent post. I'll therefore make it snappy.
When you get to as few games as 7 left in the league season, you know you're heading for the home run. The thing about this stage of the season is that unless, you've made some breathing space for yourself e.g in the days we could be 13 points clear at this stage, it actually transforms into a sort of knock-out Cup competition.
In other words, the league becomes more or less a numerous Cup ties played till the end of the season.
That is ideally the situation we're in at the moment. Unusually, this season, we've been unable to hang onto top spot officially for more than a fortnight. The reality is that we're running out of games to make these comebacks that will see us reclaim top spot whenever we lose it. This is what I mean by 'Cup ties' in the league. Whilst you can still recover from losing six league games after before March, you might not recover from dropping two points in the last 7 games of the season.
It's why the game against Bolton for me is more imperative a fixture than the Champions League away tie to Bayern on Tuesday. We can always recover from Bayern in the second leg the following week but when shall we meet Bolton again this season to make up for (God forbid) dropped points?
It's why I pray that the manager goes for his strongest available squad for this one. It will make more sense to start with them and put them off when we are on our way to victory than straining them in the last 20minutes in a bid to get an equaliser or winner.
Team news: Rooney might be rested (or injured, deepening on which paper you read), Hargo is training with the first team now. The rest of the team should be pretty much unchanged from what we usually have out there. Berbatov is almost certain to start this one.
Bolton have a very good home record under Owen Coyle and we've not had it easy on our last two visits there. I've always thought that the faster you put to bed league games before Champions League duty in midweek, the better for you, so here;s to our forwards to take them as they come!