West Ham United v Bolton Wanderers preview

Victory on Saturday will go a long way in preserving West Ham's place in the Premier League for next season

The opposition

TWO heavy defeats against Tottenham and more worryingly Blackburn Rovers were put to one side last Saturday as Bolton registered a vital 1-0 win against relegation rivals Wolves.

Inconsistent defender Zat Knight was the hero and with Gary Cahill missing the former Fulham centre half will have to be at his best to keep out Carlton Cole.

Bolton are renowned for their set -pieces and with the delivery of Matthew Taylor, plus the height of Johan Elmander and Kevin Davies, West Ham will have to be on their guard.

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South Korean Chung-Yong Lee is their most creative outlet.

The manager

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NEWLY appointed Owen Coyle (pictured above) was accused of making a sideways step after moving from Burnley to the Reebok, but has made a solid start in charge.

He has taken the club clear of the relegation zone, albeit by just two points, but the fans are already a lot happier with the Scotsman at the helm rather then previous incumbent Gary Megson.

Coyle is trying to get his side to play more passing football and their performances have improved since he has taken over, although his attacking intentions away from home could be to West Ham's benefit.

Form guide

West Ham home: WLDWW.

Bolton away: LLDLL.

West Ham overall: DLWWL.

Bolton overall: DDLLW.

Recent meetings

BOLTON have twice beaten West Ham 3-1 this season, after victories at the Reebok Stadium in the league as well as the League Cup.

In December's league encounter, Alessandro Diamanti had cancelled out a Lee strike, before goals from Ivan Klasnic and Cahill sealed the points.

A Herita Ilunga goal looked to have been enough for the Hammers League Cup tie in late September, but a late Davies goal forced the game into extra-time when Cahill and Elmander were on target to seal the win.

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