Arsenal Vs Bolton Wanderers, Wed 6 Jan 2010

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Arsenal will again be without captain Cesc Fabregas (hamstring) for Wednesday night's Barclays Premier League clash against Bolton, but he should be fit for the visit to the Reebok Stadium on January 17.

Denilson has recovered from a back problem and is expected to stand in for Alex Song, who is at the African Nations Cup.

Andrey Arshavin (foot) is also available after missing the FA Cup win at West Ham, but striker Nicklas Bendtner (groin), Theo Walcott (side strain), Gael Clichy (back), Kieran Gibbs (foot), Robin van Persie (ankle) and Johan Djourou (knee) remain out, while Emmanuel Eboue is also away on international duty.

Arsene Wenger maintains his young Arsenal side have both the required hunger and mental strength to continue their march towards the top of the Barclays Premier League table.

The Gunners could move to within a point of leaders Chelsea by beating relegation-battlers Bolton.

It is a remarkable turnaround in fortunes since being outmuscled 3-0 at home by Chelsea at the end of November.

In that period, Arsenal have recorded five wins from six Premier League games, while both Chelsea and second-placed Manchester United have struggled for consistency.

Wenger, though, never lost faith in his young Gunners to deliver.

"We have a good opportunity to come back very close to Chelsea, and we want to take it, to make it more interesting for everybody," he said.

"One month ago we were far from the top teams, and since have created momentum.

"We refused to give up and continued to fight and believe in our strengths.

"The biggest test in our camp was the mental strengths of the players and the solidarity of the players. That has been tested.

"What we have realised in one month gives us a good springboard to go even further. Why should we stop here?

"The next two months will determine how ambitious and how hungry we are."

Wenger added: "It does not mean Chelsea or Manchester United do not have hunger - but what I know is that within our team we have a great hunger for success. We have great solidarity and team spirit.

"We are a team who has grown up together and wants to achieve things.

"We have not won anything yet together and that makes us hungry for success."

Bolton are expected to recall experienced goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Jaaskelainen was rested at the weekend with Ali Al Habsi keeping a clean sheet in the FA Cup victory against League Two Lincoln.

Bolton full-back Gretar Steinsson believes the club's new manager will have solid foundations to build on.

Owen Coyle looks set to replace Gary Megson providing compensation can be agreed with Burnley after stressing he wanted to move to the Reebok Stadium.

However caretaker manager Chris Evans, aided by head coach Steve Wigley, is again likely to be in charge for the trip to Arsenal.

Steinsson said: "We have a lot of exciting players and the new manager will have plenty of options to work with.

"We did alright in December although we did not get as many victories as we wanted to. But staying unbeaten says a lot about the group we have.

"Kevin Davies and Ivan Klasnic are working well together up front. Johan Elmander came on in the win against Lincoln and did well too.

"From a personal point of view it does not matter where we play in the Premier League, it is always enjoyable."

Defender Andy O'Brien claims it is in everyone's interests to have Megson's successor in place sooner rather than later.

He said: "The manager has been sacked, an interim management put in, and there will be someone new coming in. As a player you would like that to happen quickly.

"It's a really big month for us and some difficult games but we are looking forward to the challenge.

"We were unlucky last year not to get a draw against Arsenal at the Emirates. They are a very good side and we have got them twice this month, so hopefully we can gather some points."

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