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Lee starts: The early predicted Bolton Wanderers XI to face Ipswich on Saturday

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There are high hopes for Bolton Wanderers ahead of the second season since their return to League One

Ian Evatt’s side put their late-2021 struggles behind them to finish last term with a flourish and in an impressive ninth place – though they were still 10 points back from the play-offs.

They’re likely to be top six contenders this time around, however, and get their season underway against another team with high aspirations in Ipswich Town.

With many predicting that Kieran McKenna’s side are set for a serious title challenge, Bolton have a tough test ahead of them at Portman Road on Saturday.

They’ll see it as an opportunity, however, as a victory would be a real statement of intent ahead of what is a fairly tough first few weeks of the campaign.

Here, we’ve made an early prediction of the Bolton starting XI for the trip to Ipswich…

Having joined from Manchester City on loan once again in June, James Trafford heads into the 2022/23 campaign as Evatt’s clear first choice between the sticks.

It looks likely that the Bolton boss will line up in a 3-4-1-2 formation with George Johnston, Ricardo Santos, and Gethin Jones as the three central defenders.

Liverpool loanee Conor Bradley has been brought in as the Marlon Fossey replacement on the right flank while Declan John should slot in at left wing-back.

Kyle Dempsey’s move to Bolton is yet to really work out but there have been positive signs in pre-season that the Trotters could see the best of him this term.

However, he may have to wait for a first start with Aaron Morley and MJ Williams getting the nod in central midfield.

Evatt has hinted that he may look to start Dapo Afolayan and Dion Charles up top together against the Tractor Boys – a duo that will cause problems for most League One defences.

Quiz: Can you remember the score the last time Bolton Wanderers played at these 26 stadiums?

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What was the score the last time Bolton played Burnley at Turf Moor?

That means Kieran Lee can be utilised in behind the front two, which could well bring out the best in him.

With a good amount of depth in the squad and five substitutions now permitted by the EFL, it would not be a surprise to see Evatt turn to his bench early in the second half or perhaps in the break if he feels changes are needed.


London-based sports journalist at Snack Media EFL accredited, graduate of New Associates and the University of Brighton

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Lee starts: The early predicted Bolton Wanderers XI to face Ipswich on Saturday

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