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:
It’s been a relatively quiet Summer transfer window for Wanderers compared to recent years. There hasn’t been a large overhaul of the squad, with just four signings made for the first team at the time of writing. For me, retaining James Trafford for another season is our best bit of business. We all know a good goalkeeper is integral & ever since he joined back in January, Trafford has been a consistent performer in the team.
If Conor Bradley can have the same impact that Marlon Fossey did (his performances in pre-season certainly indicate that he can), he could prove to be an inspired signing.
I’ll say Dion Charles. Out of all our strikers, I feel like he’s the one who will most likely have the most game time. Dapo can and will probably be utilised up front as well as out wide and in midfield, whilst JDB and Bakayoko will be used more as impact subs depending on the opposition.
All four could easily break into double figures & this might well be the first time in more than twenty years that a Wanderers player reaches the 20 goals mark.
Game I’m most looking forward to:
The local games are always a good day out, though i’d love to see better results than what we saw last season.
Opposing player I’d love:
Though we’ve got plenty of options in midfield, Conor Hourihane is a fantastic player at this level and Derby have done well to get him to drop down from The Championship. Barry Bannan remains one of the best midfielders in the league, whilst Peterborough’s Jonson Clarke-Harris is a brilliant forward and will almost certainly be among the top goalscorers in the league.
I said it last year & i’ll stick with it again - Ricardo Santos. When our Captain is at the top of his game, he’s tremendous and the whole team is better for it. If he stays on form for the majority of the season, teams are going to struggle to score past us.
Predict the first 6 games:
Ipswich (a): 1-1
Wycombe (h): 1-0
Port Vale (a): 0-2
Morecambe (h): 2-1
Sheffield Wednesday (h): 2-2
Plymouth Argyle (a): 1-0
Eleven points from our first six games. We’ve got a tough start & how we do will certainly set a marker for where the club is at right now. If we want to be challenging for promotion, we have to perform against the teams who will up there come the end of the season.
At least half the teams in the league will have aspirations of challenging for promotion and the play-offs. For Wanderers to be in the mix, we can’t afford to have another spell like the one from October to January last season.
What Bolton do have going for them is a strong core that are well used to playing together and fit into the style that Ian Evatt wants to play. If we can maintain the form we showed during the second half of the season, Bolton could comfortably be challenging at the right end of the table.
I’m going to say we’ll finish fifth or sixth.
Any other business prediction?:
Ricardo Santos to finally score in a Bolton Wanderers shirt.