Prior to this season, Bolton Wanderers hadn’t competed in a league below the second tier since 1993. But a dismal campaign in the Championship last year meant our traders thought the Greater Manchester outfit had more chance of dropping even further down the divisions than winning the League One title this time out.
However, their fine start to the season, as well as the arrival of no less than five new players on Deadline Day means that the 11/2 on the Trotters to win the league now looks like great value.
As we’re now six games into the new campaign, we thought we’d take a look at how Phil Parkinson’s men have fared so far.
A 48th minute goal from debutant Keshi Anderson ensured Bolton’s unbeaten run stretched to six for the season, having won their opening four and drawn their last two.
And that means just themselves and Bradford are yet to suffer a league defeat since the campaign began.
Although they boast one of the best defensive records in the third tier, Bolton have conceded in every game since the opening weekend – something which will surely be of concern to Trotters fans.
But this is clearly something Parkinson is keen to rectify – and of their five most used defenders which conceded 81 league goals last year, only two have featured this year.
However, that’s a statistic they’ve countered excellently by managing to find the net at least once in every game so far, largely thanks to Gary Madine, Josh Vela and Jay Spearing.
And in Spearing, Bolton boast an early candidate for player of the year – as his two goals and all-round performances are part of the reason why the Trotters are sitting comfortably at the top of the table.
A feature of all strong sides is their ability to dominate the game from the off, something which Bolton have done pretty much all season to date, having been behind for just 14 per cent of the total minutes they’ve played so far.
Their ability to score all kinds of goals has been impressive, too. Spearing has supplied two incredible strikes from distance, Madine has acted as a real poacher and Vela’s ability to find space in the box has been excellent to watch.
A 90th minute goal for Charlton was the only thing preventing Bolton from a 100 per cent record prior to Deadline Day. And the arrival of Keshi Anderson, Sammy Ameobi, Ben Alnwick, Tom Thorpe, James Henry and Andrew Taylor will only strengthen Bolton’s chances of not only returning to the Championship at the first time of asking, but doing it in style by winning the league.
The Trotters play host to MK Dons on Saturday afternoon, and last time these two met at the Macron Stadium, the home side ran out 3-1 winners. It’s 14/1 for a repeat of that result, while it’s 17/20 just for Bolton to win.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.