Bolton vs. Liverpool: The Pre-Ramble, Why Liverpool's Run Is Set To Continue

Neil HarperCorrespondent IAugust 25, 2011

Hello again guys. Liverpool are set to host Bolton at Anfield this Saturday evening and for me, it's easy to see their current good form continuing and showing the rest of the league they can challenge for Europe this season.

Off the back of an impressive victory over Exeter mid-week, Liverpool are unbeaten thus far in all competitions (okay, only three games, but I like exaggerating) and this, in my view, is likely to continue against an actually quite strong Bolton side.

In the same fixture last season, Liverpool edged past Wanderers with a last-minute goal courtesy of Joe Cole, his first for Liverpool in the league, and also saw the last home game of Roy Hodgson's reign at Liverpool. It's easy to say the team has come in leaps and bounds since the beginning of the year and I'm hoping for a good result and a good performance by Liverpool on Saturday.

In their first two games, Liverpool had a great first half and then began to show a bit of early season rust in the second. As some of you will have read in my previous article on the games, I believe Liverpool have had some trouble finishing; with Arsenal and Sunderland, they had many chances to score but didn't take them.

Seeing them against Exeter has changed my view. Okay, I know it was only Exeter, but it was pretty much a full-strength team that played and many of the chances they had went in. That will no doubt give them confidence for the Bolton game, especially to Andy Carroll, who has yet to open his Premiership account for Liverpool this season.

Of course, we can't underestimate Bolton, who have played well so far this season, giving Man City a run for their money (literally) and narrowly losing. Like all of Liverpool's oppositions so far this season, Bolton have a great defence, with one of their former top targets at the heart of it in Gary Cahill, who I think will be marking Carroll off the pitch, so playing Luis Suarez as well as Carroll may be for the best in this situation.

Then again, Zat Knight is also likely to play, so having Carroll, Suarez and Kuyt might boost Liverpool's attacking options to no end.

Anyway, onto my predictions, which if the last two weeks have taught me, are usually wrong. Liverpool are still without Johnson and Gerrard and have now added Raul Meireles to the injury list after he went off with a collarbone injury against Exeter; hopefully it's not too serious.

Lineup Predictions: Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Agger, Enrique, Downing, Lucas, Adam, Suarez, Kuyt, Carroll

I'm going with what I hope is the lineup, however my hope does have backing. Suarez was taken off after an hour against Exeter, assuming to keep him fit for Saturday, whereas Jordan Henderson played all 90 minutes, so I think he'll be rested, but most definitely on the bench.

I'd say the same for Charlie Adam, having Raul Meireles start instead, but as I've already said, he's out for at least a few weeks.

Result Predictions: Liverpool 2 Bolton 1

I'm going for a repeat of the New Year's Day fixture, hopefully not a last-minute winner this time, however I'd take it just as happily.

So there we have it. Until then, thanks for reading and feel free to comment with your own predictions on the lineup and result.

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