Much to the relief of the football-starved masses, the 2013/14 Championship campaign is fast approaching. The summer, while relatively short, feels like it will last an eternity after the final whistle goes on the season's last match day, So far this summer, Bolton Wanderers have announced their preseason schedule, signed a few players, and let a few others go. Yesterday, we learned that Bolton would travel to Burnley for the second year running to open the season and today, we have the full fixture list.
Of course, because football is a generally greedy institution, we can't go ahead and just give you the full list due to (ridiculous) copyright issues. You can go here to see what is in store for Bolton. Instead, we'll run down some of the most intriguing fixtures that lay ahead for the men in white, month by month.
It's a tough start for the Trotters as they travel to Turf Moor to take on the clarets to open the campaign. The first two home games are against a pair of teams relegated last season in Reading and Queens Park Rangers before Wanderers finish out August with a derby clash against a flock of chickens at Ewood Park. All told, August will be an exciting month and Dougie Freedman's boys will have to set the pace early.
The following month brings four games with Bolton Wanderers holding down the Reebok Stadium for three of them. The one away trip in September will be a difficult one to Gus Poyet's Brighton & Hove Albion, a team that gave the Trotters a lot of trouble last season.
Despite the Championship's sheer unpredictability, October should be a relatively calm one. Bolton face two away trips to Blackpool and Birmingham City in a span of five days before spending the following two weeks at home against Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich Town.
Four more matches, this time with three on the road. Wanderers will visit Championship new boys Bournemouth, led by Eddie Howe, who beat Owen Coyle's Bolton last year with Burnley. The one home game will be against Millwall, who proved a tough nut to crack last season. Matches against Watford and Middlesbrough round out October and should be challenging.
The second-busiest month of the year for Bolton with Wanderers looking at six games in 26 days. In terms of home and away trips, it splits right down the middle with three and three, finishing up at the King Power Stadium to take on Leicester City. Far and away the most tantalizing match in December is the away clash with Wigan in what should be a fun derby. That match is currently scheduled for a Saturday but expect it to be pushed back to Sunday with the final group stage games of the Europa League taking place just a few days before it.
Another five match month and it'll be a tough one for Bolton as the boys start the list all over again. January sees three home matches and two road trips with both Reading and QPR away. The Queens Park Rangers match is a bit of a head-scratcher as it is set to take place on a cold Tuesday night in late January. On top of those, Bolton will also face Boro, Nottingham Forest, and Burnley.
After the frenetic pace of the previous two months, February should be a bit quieter for Bolton with two home and two away matches. The Trotters travel to Ipswich Town and Millwall, alternating with home matches against Bournemouth and Watford.
Far and away the busiest month for the men in white with seven games scheduled over a course of 28 days. The month kicks off with Blackburn at home. The away trips will see Bolton travel to Leeds United, Derby County, and new boys, Yeovil Town. March ends just as it started with a local derby to look forward to as Wigan make the short journey to the Reebok.
Six game in this one with the Trotters finishing out the latter stages of the season on the road. Six games in 21 days with four of them away. Huddersfield Town, Doncaster Rovers, Charlton Athletic, and Sheffield Wednesday will all welcome the Trotters into their respective home grounds with not-so-open arms. The month's penultimate match against Leicester City should prove the toughest test.
Just one game here as Bolton Wanderers finish the season against Birmingham City at the Reebok Stadium. Bolton will have hopefully secured an automatic promotion spot by this one, allowing the fans to sit back and enjoy the chaos elsewhere.