By Giuseppe Muro
Arsenal beat Bolton 4-2 at Emirates Stadium midway through last season, despite early goals from Gary Cahill and Matt Taylor putting the Gunners two behind.
Can Owen Coyle's side cause Arsenal similar problems on Saturday? We spoke to Mark Iles of the Bolton Evening News to get a Bolton perspective on this weekend's clash.
THE MAN IN CHARGE
"Owen has brought an infectious energy and enthusiasm to the job. He has got in touch with the fans a lot more and it feels a much happier place to work at the minute. He has really transformed that side of the club and that has translated through to the players. There was a sense of staleness before he arrived and now there is a good deal of optimism for the future."
"Not too much cash was spent to be fair. The most of what was spent went on a Spanish full-back called Marcos Alonso from Real Madrid though the biggest signing of the summer was Martin Petrov from Manchester City. They also got Robbie Blake on a free transfer and Ivan Klasnic permanently after his loan last year. Most recently they've got a young Brazilian-born Spanish striker called Rodrigo Moreno who has come from Benfica on loan."
THE STORY SO FAR
"To come back with 10 men and from two goals down [to win] against Birmingham shows the spirit the team has got at the minute. It’s maybe a result they wouldn't have got under the previous manager - they didn’t come back from any deficits at all last season while he was in charge. They have been playing better football and scoring more goals."
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
“To build on last season and keep on improving has got to be the aim. First and foremost you have to get over that line and make sure you're not involved at the wrong end of the table. I’d like to think they could finish at the top of the bottom half of the table and give themselves a chance of breaking through that threshold. There has even been talk about the top 10.”
MAN OF THE MOMENT
“Johan Elmander has suffered a few injuries since joining. He always seems to be coming back from injury which is never easy. It’s good to see him back - he looks in great shape so it would be good to see him get a run of games and more importantly a run of goals. His career hasn't really taken off at the Reebok but he’s made an impressive start this season.”
“Owen has pretty much stuck to 4-4-2 so far this season, though he has tinkered with five people in midfield when we’ve been to the Emirates before. Kevin Davies is more than capable of playing up there on his own, though Elmander has been scoring goals so he might be unlucky to get dropped. There are enough options so he can mix and match.”
THE EMIRATES EFFECT
"I don’t think you can go in against Arsenal looking at it as a damage-limitation exercise because I think you're setting yourself up for a hiding. I think when they went down to the Emirates last season and went 2-0 they took the game to Arsenal. I don’t think you can afford to go and defend because you’re asking for problems."