Team News: Ipswich Town v Bolton Wanderers

  • July 29, 2022 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton scored five on their last visit to Ipswich Town but they have just one goal in mind when they travel to Portman Road on Saturday - promotion!

After securing a 9th-placed finish in their first campaign back in League One last season, Wanderers have much higher ambitions this time around and would love a repeat performance of the 5-2 victory that achieved in their most recent visit to Suffolk last September.

Plenty is made of the importance of a good start, although that hasn't proved to be the case with the Trotters in recent times. In fact, they have picked up three points on opening day just three times over the course of the past 13 seasons - two of which (2011/12 and 2018/19) ended in relegation from the Premier League and Championship, respectively.

The other - 2016/17 - helped set the tone for a promotion season under Phil Parkinson and it is such history that can provide inspiration for the current-day set of players given the quality of clubs taking part in the third-tier this term.

In Ipswich, Bolton begin against one of the pre-season favourites to lift the title next May but with a number of new faces added to his side, Evatt will be hoping to kick-off his own promotion charge with a successful afternoon on the road.

James Trafford is back at the club on a season-long loan from Manchester City and will be looking to continue his development, while Jack Iredale, Conor Bradley and Eoin Toal have all been added to a defensive unit which struggled at times last year.

Iredale is set to compete alongside Declan John for a place at left wing-back, although he could also be used to give breaks to either George Johnston or Will Aimson either side of Ricardo Almeida Santos in the back-three.

Bradley offers a similar option on the right-hand side, although it is widely expected he will serve as a more attacking wing-back solution that will allow Gethin Jones to drop into the defence ahead of Aimson.

Toal, who will miss this weekend's game due to a minor ankle problem, is also capable of playing in the backline in either a three or four-man set-up.

Having Toal unavailable at this moment in time is no major headache for the Wanderers boss, who also remains without the services of both Josh Sheehan (knee) and Lloyd Isgrove (hamstring).

The duo, who haven't featured in competitive action for the entirety of 2022, are being pencilled in for a B-Team fixture over the next fortnight and could return to first-team football in the next couple of months.

Kyle Dempsey is available, however, after he was attacked during a night out in Carlisle a fortnight ago, while Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Amadou Bakayoko are in contention after overcoming slight issues sustained during the pre-season schedule.

There is a possibility neither could be required, though, with Dion Charles and Oladapo Afolayan hoping to get the nod to lead the line for the first time since they paired together in a 6-0 rout of Sunderland back in January.

Bolton Wanderers: from: Dixon, Trafford, Jones, John, Santos, Johnston, Iredale, Aimson, Bradley, Williams, Sadlier, Morley, Lee, Dempsey, Thomason, Bodvarsson, Charles, Bakayoko, Afolayan, Kachunga

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
2 Peterborough United 4 9
3 Portsmouth 4 8
4 Bolton Wanderers 4 8
5 Exeter City 4 7
6 Charlton Athletic 4 7
View Full Standings >>


Who is Bolton's 2021/22 Player of the Year?
32.58% Oladapo Afolayan
30.96% Gethin Jones
21.72% Ricardo Almeida Santos
5.51% Declan John
4.05% Kieran Lee
3.08% MJ Williams
1.78% Joel Dixon
0.32% George Johnston