Following their first clean sheet of the season, this weekend sees Ian Evatt’s Bolton Wanderers host League Two bottom side Oldham Athletic in a Greater Manchester derby.
Bolton will be keen to build on the positives of their last two outings in the league after notching their first 4 points of the season. In their way stand Harry Kewell’s Latics, who will be keen to spoil the party as they look to springboard their own season with a win over the trotters. For Oldham, a win could see them rise as many as 6 places, including overtaking their opponents. The Latics have had their fair share of off-the-field drama of late and a win would go some way to lifting the mood at the club.
For Bolton, the season has seen a mixed start. With a complete squad overhaul, it was always going to be a process and speaking on their progress to the Bolton News this week, boss Ian Evatt was keen to point out that in their most recent clash against Grimsby Town, it was the quality of the final ball that held his team back and his side had in fact dominated large portions of the game. Earlier defensive concerns have been allayed somewhat by encouraging performances, most notably with the improvement of Portuguese defender Ricardo Santos’ performances as he was moved into the centre of Bolton’s back three.
Wanderers’ new loan signing Peter Kioso could feature at right-back as he is available for selection but the game may come one week too soon for winger Lloyd Isgrove and forward Shaun Miller who Evatt indicated may just miss out. For Oldham, new signing Tomas Egert should continue to feature as he returns from an ACL injury but there will be no Macron return for former Wanderers defender David Wheater as he remains frozen out of the first team at the club.
This will be the first in a long sequence of games for Bolton as they play 6 games in 24 days, it is likely that players on the fringes of the Wanderers squad will get their chance to impress over the next month.
Bolton are the bookies’ favourites, available at 21/20 with an Oldham away win priced at 13/5, the draw can be backed at 5/2.