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Rupert Wyman 28th Aug 2010 - 17:31

He will give them an El of a time

Bolton and Birmingham both should take credit for the way they have started the season. There are a few similarities between the clubs, they are both managed by a fiery Scotsman and they play solid, confident football.

What would once be looked upon as a bottom of the table clash is now far more attractive viewing for the Sky Sports panel and the viewers. There are a few players of quality on show, with Birmingham now bolstered by the signings of Zigic and Ben Foster.

The Swedish international striker Elmander has started the season very well for Bolton, he has shed a few pounds and is far more agile on the ball. It was evident in Bolton's 3-1 away win at West Ham last week when he netted a brace and won the man of the match.

He is in-form and his confidence is high and 7/4 seems a reasonable price for him to score anytime.

Although the Blues had a great season last year, Bolton managed to secure the double over them. Birmingham are 5/2 to reverse the form, with the draw priced at 23/10 and the home win at 11/10.

The way Bolton dispatched West Ham away from home should mean that there will be plenty of takers at 11/10.  However, the match could be very tight and on paper there is little to differentiate the teams.

Both teams won their midweek Carling Cup fixtures and they rested plenty of players. Bolton will be without Sean Davis who is suffering with a recurrence of his knee problem and Ivan Klasnic looks likely to be sidelined with a thigh strain.

Birmingham are likely to start up-front with Zigic partnering McFadden, they will also recall the workhorse Barry Ferguson and the two-goal hero against Blackburn Craig Gardner.

Zigic will be looking to take his chances in front of goal and he is 8/1 to score first. The giant will need to be at his best to outwit Bolton's standout centre half Gary Cahill.

The former Aston Villa central defender looks likely to be called up to the England squad to play Bulgaria and he is the rock in their defence. He has been continually linked away from the club and he is developing well under Coyle's guidance.

If he is on-form along with the rest of the Bolton defence, you can back them at 6/5 to keep a clean sheet.

Although Elmander has started the season in-form, none of the forwards on-show tomorrow are prolific.

I can see this match finishing a low score draw, the 0-0 is 15/2 and the 1-1 is 6/1.  Bolton have also failed to score in three of their last five home games and I doubt the fans will enjoy a goal fest at the Reebok Stadium tomorrow.



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