Bolton Wanderers and Leicester head into the new Championship season as the 7/1 joint favourites to win the title – but it’s the Trotters who look the more tempting bet.
Owen Coyle may not have covered himself in glory since taking over from Gary Megson and, after a promising start to his time in charge of the Trotters, he eventually led them to relegation last term.
However, while it may not sound the most logical of conclusions, a season in the Championship may not be the worst thing for a Bolton side whose transition period is still very much ongoing after Coyle’s appointment back in January 2010.
He tried to implement a more attractive style of football than the one employed by Sam Allardyce and then Sammy Lee and Megson but, while his sides may have been somewhat better to watch, the results were far from pretty.
Now at least he will get a good chance to move things forward in the rather less challenging Championship – and the early signs look good.
He has yet to lose any really key players and veteran striker Kevin Davies signalled his intent to stay with Bolton almost before his sweat had dried following their final game of the season.
Coyle’s reputation for nurturing young talent like Jack Wilshere and Daniel Sturridge looks like landing him Arsenal striker Benik Afobe on loan for the season.
If Bolton can shore up their leaky defence that conceded an average of more than two goals per game in the Premier League last term, then the 7/1 offered for them to win the Championship and make a swift return to the English top tier looks a great long term bet.