Man City v Bolton preview
Man City will hope to steal a march on Premier League title rivals Man Utd when they face Bolton at the Etihad Stadium.
Last Updated: 02/03/12 1:19pm
Manchester City will hope to steal a march on Premier League title rivals Manchester United when they face Bolton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
City enjoy a second straight match at home against struggling opposition, with last week's 3-0 win over Blackburn being followed by the visit of the Trotters.
And with United saddled with a tough trip to White Hart Lane on Sunday, City boss Roberto Mancini will be hoping to see his side's current two-point lead at the top of the table extended to four or even five by the end of the weekend.
The Citizens still boast a perfect league record at home this season while Bolton have not scored in their last three away league matches, so it is little wonder that the hosts are overwhelming favourites.
City have also lost just one of their last 10 Premier League encounters with Bolton and have won each of the last four of those contests.
In contrast to their opponents, Bolton are fighting to avoid relegation and will be out to avoid slipping adrift in the race for survival.
Owen Coyle's side are currently 19th in the table, but with the bottom five separated by just two points an unlikely win on Saturday could lift them clear of the drop zone.
Mancini is likely to have close to a full-strength squad to pick from, although he does have a Europa League trip to Sporting on Thursday to consider when selecting his starting XI.
The City boss is yet to fully assess the fitness of all his players after their return from midweek international duty, but has not reported any initial problems.
Carlos Tevez is still not ready for a return to first-team action as he continues to build his fitness levels after coming back from Argentina.
Bolton midfielder Mark Davies is hoping to prove his fitness but may be forced to sit out a second straight match with a hamstring injury.
Marcos Alonso is recovering from a foot injury but may not be ready for a first-team return yet.
Veteran striker Kevin Davies doubtful again with a knee injury, while Iceland defender Gretar Steinsson will be assessed after picking up a calf problem on international duty.
On-loan Dedryck Boyata is not able to play against his parent club but fellow defender Joe Riley (foot) is back in contention.
Possible starting XIs
Man City: Hart, Richards, Lescott, Kompany, Kolarov, De Jong, Y Toure, Johnson, Silva, Aguero, Balotelli.
Bolton: Bogdan, Steinsson, Wheater, Ream, Ricketts, Reo-Coker, Muamba, Miyachi, Pratley, Eagles, Ngog.