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LOV Bolton Wanderers predictions 21/22: Ed

We once again try and predict how the season will go for Wanderers

Bolton Wanderers v Blackburn Rovers - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Dave Howarth - CameraSport via Getty Images

It’s that time of year again, folks. Once again another football season is right around the corner and as we do every year, all the writers here at LOV are going to try and predict how the season will go for Bolton.

First up is Ed:

Best Signing:

It’s hard to look past Dapo Afolayan. The winger was a fan favourite during his loan spell last season & it’s great to see him return to the club on a permanent basis. His performance on Saturday against Blackburn Rovers was top class and if he can continue to play at that level all season, he’ll prove vital if Wanderers are to achieve success. The likes of Josh Sheehan, George Johnston and Declan John could also be up there as the best signing.

Top Scorer:

Based on last season, the obvious answer would have to be Eoin Doyle. The Irishman became the first Wanderer to score more than twelve goals in a season for nearly two decades, scoring nineteen in total. He’s previously hit double figures in League One for Chesterfield, Oldham and Bradford & I can see no reason why he can’t do that for Bolton, even at 33.

Game I’m most looking forward to:

Aside from the local derby games against Wigan Athletic, I’m most looking forward to the first home game against MK Dons & the first away game against Wimbledon. It was special being back at the UNIBOL to see the Blackburn game & i’m sure it will be even better to be there to see a league game in the flesh for the first time in nearly eighteen months.

Opposing player I’d love:

If he can recapture the kind of form that earned him a move to the Premier League with Huddersfield, Alex Pritchard could be a cracking signing for Sunderland. Scott Fraser is another player in that attacking midfielder role who could be a shrewd signing for Ipswich, having had an unbelievable season with MK Dons last year.

Key player:

Ricardo Santos. After a patchy start, the centre back was a rock at the back alongside Alex Baptiste and was integral to Wanderers’ promotion. He rightly earned a place in the League Two PFA Team of the year and was crowned Player of the year by the fans.

Predict the first 6 games:

MK Dons (h): 1-0

Wimbledon (a): 0-1

Lincoln City (a): 2-1

Oxford United (h): 1-1

Cambridge United (a): 0-1

Burton (h): 1-1

Eleven points from the first six games is fairly ambitious, though if we can carry on the kind of form we were showing at the end of last season coupled with the performances put in against PNE and Blackburn in pre-season, I don’t see why we can’t start the season strongly.

Final Position:

I’ll say top ten. If we can add one or two more explosive attacking options, we could aim higher. Ian Evatt certainly has lofty ambitions for the season so why not.

Any other business prediction?:

Amadou Bakayoko to score an overhead kick. He’s gone for it in every game I’ve seen him play so far.