Arsene Wenger can be positive about his new-look Arsenal side
Sharethematch.com takes a look at Arsenal's recent revival and Bolton Wanderers' prospects of avoiding relegation
Have Arsenal turned a corner?
The season still rests on Robin Van Persie staying fit – but with the return to form and fitness of a number of key players – it’s suddenly looking very good for Arsenal.
Manager Arsene Wenger revealed in his pre-match press conference that Andre Santos has returned to full training after four months out of the side, Aaron Ramsey is fit, as is Yossi Benayoun, Kieran Gibbs and Mikel Arteta.
Meanwhile, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who hobbled off in midweek against AC Milan, should be fit for the visit of Newcastle on Monday.
There are some crunch games on the horizon – home games against Manchester City, Chelsea and Newcastle United stand out but there are also tricky away-days in the final 11 Premier League fixtures against Queens Park Rangers, Stoke and Everton.
Last season Arsenal collapsed having lost the Carling Cup final against Birmingham and just about squeezed into the Champions League – will it happen again after their agonising loss against Milan in midweek?
Goals continue to worry Arsenal fans – if Van Persie is not fit and firing – Marouane Chamakh does not look like a capable deputy.
With German defender Per Mertesacker on the treatment table – an injury to either Laurent Koscielny or Thomas Vermaelen would be catastrophic; nobody wants to see Johan Djourou feature in such a nail-biting finale to the season or worse still Sebastian Squillaci.
The exciting thing for Arsenal fans is the form of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott, while Gervinho finally seems to be finding his feet after his exertions at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Monday’s home game against Newcastle will prove crucial in Arsenal’s season – three points and a possible stumble from Tottenham Hotspur at Everton will see the gap close to just one point to Harry Redknapp’s men.
But an injury in the centre of defence or to Van Persie will see the season collapse and Arsenal finish outside of the top four – that could be crucial in whether Wenger hangs on to his skipper or not.
Coyle will mastermind Bolton’s survival
Owen Coyle’s Bolton Wanderers are finally out of the bottom three in the Premier League and despite not having a natural goalscorer, they look like staying up this season.
Ivan Klasnic’s late goal earned a vital victory for Bolton against fellow Premier League strugglers QPR in the early Saturday kick-off – and I think it will prove a crucial three points.
That leaves Wigan Athletic, Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the bottom three – and it’s difficult to see two of those sides climbing out of trouble.
Wolves look doomed after their woeful managerial appointment of Terry Connor. While Wigan have been selling their best players for three years or so and haven’t replaced them, nor have they found a striker who will score goals.
Blackburn is the anomaly because they have been scoring goals and that’s why I think it’s a three-horse race between Steve Kean’s men, QPR and Coyle’s Bolton for the drop.
The arrival of Riyo Miyaichi at Bolton has revolutionised Coyle’s side and they suddenly look dangerous again going forward.
There’s a hell of a long way still to go and Bolton have got a lot to do to clamber their way to safety.
Five wins from their last ten games will do it – but Coyle has the self-belief and, more importantly, the dressing-room behind him – something which Kean and Connor possibly don’t.
Despite criticism this season, Coyle has stuck to his principles and if he avoids the drop, the Bolton boss deserves all the credit.