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Match Preview: SK Sturm Graz v Bolton Wanderers

Proper first team football is back bay-bay!

Christian Hofer/Getty Images

Well we've had the fun and games of Bolton Wanderers making their 'official' return to football with last weekend's terrific game against Atherton Collieries - but now it's time for the real deal.

Bolton have travelled to Austria to undertake an intensive pre-season training camp - something that hasn't sat well with some (including gobby Dutchmen - click here for more on that gem), and tonight that fitness training will be put to the test when we come up against famed Austrian side SK Sturm Graz.

Founded in 1909, Sturm Graz are three-time Austrian champions and five times runners up in the Bundesliga, who play in the 15,400 capacity UPC-Arena - though today's game will take place at the Stadion Kumberg some 18km east of the city of Graz.

A brief run-through of the current Sturm squad reveals few familiar names, other than 18 year old Donis Avdijaj, a German-Albanian striker on loan from Schalke 04 in Germany who is my go-to striker on Football Manager 15, in case you cared, which you don't.

They are managed by 49 year old Franco Foda, a former Bayer Leverkusen defender who is in his second spell at the club following an ill-fated experience in his homeland with FC Kaiserslauten.

He led the Austrian side to 4th place in the Bundesliga in the 2014/15 season, some 25 points behind eventual champions Red Bull Salzburg. Their haul of 58 points means qualification to the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round - so Bolton will be facing decent competition later today.

Wanderers themselves will be confident going into the fixture, with behind-the-scenes training videos showing a well-drilled and eager group of players bursting at the seams to get back on the field in a competitive fixture.

New signing Derik Osede, once of a little club called Real Madrid, should make his debut, though it is thought that he will start the game on the bench. We also know that Josh Vela has returned home following his contracting of a virus.

Fellow new boys Gary Madine and Ben Amos should start the game, with all eyes being on the return from injury of one Zach Clough following his impressive yet curtailed 2014/15 season.

The game will be broadcast on YouTube and we will be looking to stream the match via our site as well - keep an eye on LionofViennaSuite.com closer to the 6pm kick off time.

Football is back, bay-bay!