Bolton defender Gary Cahill is poised to return from a two-month lay-off for the Barclays Premier League clash with table-topping Manchester United at the Reebok Stadium.

Cahill has now fully recovered from a blood clot that forced him to undergo surgery to remove a section of a rib and played a full 90 minutes in the reserves on Monday.

Boss Owen Coyle is again without several players, including Gretar Steinsson through suspension following his dismissal in the 2-0 defeat at Everton last Saturday.

Five players in Stuart Holden, Chris Basham, Gavin McCann, Sean Davis and Joey O'Brien remain sidelined through injury.

Ahead of the game, midfielder Fabrice Muamba believes he is playing the best football of his career - thanks to boss Coyle.

The England Under-21 international is oozing confidence, to such an extent that last week he spoke of his desire of stepping up to full international level under Fabio Capello.

After playing alongside Gabriel Agbonlahor, James Milner and Joe Hart in last summer's European Championships, Muamba has watched them all progress and become senior England players.

The 21-year-old is naturally hoping his time will come but for now his sole goal is on keeping Bolton in the Barclays Premier League.

Muamba feels with Coyle at the helm, it has become a question of when and not if it happens, with Wanderers eight points clear of the relegation zone.

"We'll definitely stay up. Another two wins and we should be fine," he said.

"Since the gaffer has come in things have changed and you can see the way we have been playing and the confidence in the team. That's credit to the manager and the staff and hopefully we can continue this way for the rest of the season.

"I know I've enjoyed playing under him so far. I would say I've been in the best form of my career. That's down to the manager and the confidence he has instilled in me. I'm just so happy he is here."


Manchester United



Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson insists Wayne Rooney has no injury problems ahead of the match.

Rooney had a knee injury earlier this month and looked to be limping heavily as he left Old Trafford following Sunday's win over Liverpool.

But Ferguson said: "He's okay, there's no problem. He had some bad bruising for a couple of weeks but he's played [since then] and there's no problems with the knee."

Ferguson may start with Ryan Giggs, who came on as a substitute against Liverpool after five weeks out with a broken arm. John O'Shea is back in training and should be available from the beginning of April.

Ferguson believes the Premier League title race will go right to the wire and insists there are no favourites in this closest of races.

The Manchester United manager admits that Arsenal have the easier run-in on paper but has questioned whether that will be any advantage when the going gets tough.

United play Chelsea - who trail them by a point - next weekend while Arsenal, who are a further point behind, do not have to face either of their title rivals.

Asked which posed the greatest threat to United, Ferguson said: "I don't think there is a bigger challenger, I think we are all in the pot together.

"On paper Arsenal have the easier run in, but only on paper. At this time of the season I'm not sure that works, whether it means anything at all.

"At the end of the day you can drop a couple of points like Chelsea did at Blackburn on Sunday.

"All of a sudden your advantage on paper doesn't look so good.

"The name of the game is to win your games and hopefully we can do that."

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Topics:
Football
Bolton Wanderers
Premier League
Manchester United