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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 25, 2006

Davies to face Pompey in protective mask

Kevin Davies is set to wear a mask to protect his fractured cheekbone when he appears for Bolton at Portsmouth tonight.

Davies, 29, has been out for four weeks since a clash with Charlton's Hermann Hreidarsson and manager Sam Allardyce believes the biggest hurdle for his striker to overcome will be a mental one.

Allardyce said: 'He has to get through the psychological barrier.

'The first ball that comes up and the first physical challenge around that cheekbone area will be the biggest test.

'While, physically, he is repaired, mentally it will be a challenge for him to overcome.

'We have had a mask done for him and he has been wearing it in training to see how he likes it.'

Bolton skipper Kevin Nolan is eagerly anticipating Davies playing alongside Nicolas Anelka for the first time and believes the pair will complement each other.

Nolan said: 'Kevin can play with anybody, and Nicolas will benefit from the way he plays and vice versa and hopefully they will gel very quickly and start terrorising defences.

'People think Kevin is just a big, tough centre forward but he has got a fantastic touch and he brings people into the game as well as frightening defenders.

'He scores nine or 10 goals a season but if he was playing alongside someone like Thierry Henry he would probably score a lot more - so let's hope that happens with Nicolas.'

Stelios Giannakopoulos, Quinton Fortune and Abdoulaye Faye will have fitness tests before the match but Tal Ben Haim and Nolan have been declared fit after knocks picked up last weekend against Middlesbrough.