English Premier League leaders Manchester City will be out to extend their advantage at the top when they meet Bolton on Saturday.
Roberto Mancini’s men have a two-pointer buffer over rivals Manchester United, who face a tough trip to Tottenham on Sunday.
City have won five consecutive games in all competitions heading into the encounter at Etihad Stadium, a venue at which they have 13 wins from as many league matches this campaign.
They are unlikely to welcome back forward Carlos Tevez after the Argentine battled through 45 minutes of a reserves match against Preston on Thursday.
His absence has mattered little, with Sergio Aguero (16 league goals), Edin Dzeko (13) and Mario Balotelli (10) providing each other with fierce competition for places up front.
Spanish star David Silva has been a standout in the Premier League with 12 assists, while Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure has been vital for City.
Mancini’s side have only conceded 19 goals in 26 league games – including just six at home – thanks to a strong defence led by Joleon Lescott and Vincent Kompany, as well as goalkeeper Joe Hart.
They face a Bolton side desperate for a win as they continue to search for a way out of the relegation zone.
Owen Coyle’s side have been plagued by injury troubles since the start of the season, and he is again likely to be without the likes of Stuart Holden, Chung-Yong Lee, Ricardo Gardner and Tyrone Mears – although captain Kevin Davies may return.
Bolton have suffered three consecutive league losses – to Norwich City, Wigan and Chelsea – but Coyle is retaining belief they can avoid the drop.
“We don’t enjoy being second bottom but I also know it’s only a point from safety. We have got enough games to do it and we’ve got young players who are getting better,” he said.
“We know our fate is in our own hands. We have good enough, young enough players to address that and that’s what we’ll focus on, but there has got to be that mental strength when things go against you.”
City are unbeaten at home and Bolton will need to produce something special if they are to change that on Saturday.