Burnley v Bolton Wanderers - Preview

  • August 02, 2013 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/ba6e3

It's back! The Sky Bet Championship begins on Saturday lunchtime, as Bolton face Burnley at Turf Moor.

As The Football League celebrates its 125th anniversary season, two of its founder members meet in a repeat of last season's opening day clash - which saw the Clarets run out 2-0 winners.

Dougie Freedman will be hoping his side can avoid a repeat of that scoreline and continue the impressive form that saw Wanderers lose just three of their final 17 games last term, putting a poor pre-season schedule behind them in the process.

No fewer than eight new faces have arrived at the Reebok Stadium in the summer, and half of them could make their competitive debuts in the Lancashire derby.

Following the summer departures of Marcos Alonso and Sam Ricketts, Marc Tierney and Alex Baptiste are expected to become regular choices in the two full-back positions - with a central defensive partnership of David Wheater and Zat Knight, who was recently appointed as the successor to Kevin Davies as club captain. Adam Bogdan will start the campaign as first choice in goal.

Jermaine Beckford and Rob Hall are also hoping to start at Burnley, following the departure of Marvin Sordell to Charlton Athletic and Lee Chung-Yong's lack of match fitness. Chris Eagles, Darren Pratley, Keith Andrews and Medo Kamara will also be hopeful of earning starting roles.

With Sordell's recent move back to London, the aforementioned Beckford could make his first start since signing from Leicester City last month. He faces competition from Craig Davies, Tom Eaves, Conor Wilkinson and Sanmi Odelusi, while David Ngog is also in contention despite failing to play during pre-season.

Joe Riley, Mark Davies and Stuart Holden all miss out with knee ligament injuries, while Andre Moritz is unlikely to feature after joining the club as a free agent earlier this week.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche has been dealt a major blow ahead of the weekend fixture, with last season's top goalscorer - Charlie Austin - leaving to join Queens Park Rangers.

Dyche has managed to bring seven new players to Turf Moor over the summer, three of whom are goalkeepers. Tom Heaton, Nick Liversedge and Alex Cisak have all joined the Clarets, with Heaton hopeful of establishing himself as the new first-choice between the sticks.

David Jones joined on a free transfer from Wigan Athletic, with Ryan Noble, Scott Arfield and Joseph Mills - brother of Bolton defender Matt - also joined for no transfer fee.

The Clarets have injury worries ahead of the game - with Ben Mee and Michael Duff struggling with knee and hamstring problems, respectively. Otherwise, Dyche is expected to field his strongest available team.

Bolton Wanderers: from: Bogdan, Lonergan, Lynch, Mears, Mills, Ream, Knight, Baptiste, Tierney, Wheater, White, Bolger, Threlkeld, Eagles, Andrews, Hall, Pratley, Vela, Chung-Yong, Gregus, Lester, Woodland, Kellett, Kamara, Moritz, Ngog, Beckford, C Davies, O'Halloran, Eaves, Wilkinson, Odelusi, Clough

Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Football betting site Betway

Sky Bet Championship Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
20 Reading 46 47
21 Millwall 46 44
22 Rotherham United 46 40
23 Bolton Wanderers 46 32
24 Ipswich Town 46 31
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Poll

Who is Bolton's 2018/19 Player of the Year?
34.62% Gary O'Neil
19.38% David Wheater
18.92% Pawel Olkowski
9.27% Joe Williams
5.33% Jason Lowe
4.13% Sammy Ameobi
2.85% Josh Magennis
2.75% Mark Beevers
1.19% Jack Hobbs
1.01% Ben Alnwick
0.28% Andrew Taylor
0.28% Craig Noone