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Match Preview: Bolton Wanderers v. Real Betis

Bolton Wanderers are taking on Real Betis at the Reebok Stadium on Friday night in what will be, for most fans, the first glimpse of the Whites since the bitterly disappointing 2-2 draw with Blackpool on 4th May.

David Ramos

Bolton's pre-season thus far has been disappointing in terms of results, there's no denying that. Wanderers have played three friendlies, all against League One sides and have lost two and drawn the other, conceding six goals in the process. The most recent of these being the 1-0 defeat away at Carlisle United. However, there's a very good argument that pre-season results aren't the be-all and end-all and that they are more useful for seeing where players are in terms of fitness. In that case it's been a worthwhile exercise with 24 players getting important minutes under their belt.

There have been other bright spots. Marvin Sordell hit three goals in the first two games before being rested against Carlisle and Rob Hall has caused all manner of problems for opposition defenders. However the same old problems seem to remain, with the defence and in particular Zat Knight showing great signs of weakness in the absence of Craig Dawson.

Bolton have played a number of Spanish teams at the Reebok over the last few years and it seems to have become a bit of a tradition. Entertaining the likes of Deportivo Alaves, Levante, Espanyol, Malaga and most recently Barcelona B in which Bolton managed to get a 2-2 draw. Real Betis finished a very respectable 7th in La Liga last season and will surely go into the game as favourites having already beat fellow Championship team Huddersfield Town 4-2.

Betis' top scorer last season was veteran striker Ruben Castro who notched up an impressive 18 goals in 34 games and he has been joined by youngster Chuli who racked up 15 goals in 21 appearances for Recreativo before joining Real Betis for an undisclosed fee. The pair will look to form a very potent partnership and could be a cause for concern for Bolton's leaky back four.

All Bolton eyes will be on Dougie Freedman's lineup as it could be a fair indication of his lineup against Burnley as is usually the case with the final game of pre-season. Fans will be eager to see Jermaine Beckford get some more minutes and hopefully complete his home debut with a goal.

Kick off is at 8pm and tickets are available at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions. Fans are also reminded that the Beehive roundabout is closed so should avoid that route when heading to the game.