(Classy Stu Holden is probably Like Buying Money's favourite player & with a little injury luck will be key in getting Bolton stright back to the big time)
Bolton suffered worse than just about any team last year with injury problems, they were robbed for most of the season of their two best players in central midfielder Stu Holden & winger Lee Chung-Yong. Wanderers have so far retained the services of Lee & Holden (maybe partly due to those injury concerns) & seem to have kept the core of their squad even after dropping down, the biggest departures were probably Reo-Coker (not as good as he thinks he is), Jussi Jaaskelainen (a faded force) & Ivan Klasnic (less than prolific). Defence was a huge problem for Bolton last year as they kept just three clean sheets, Coyle has worked to rectify that situation with the American Tim Ream coming in last January & the very astute signing of Matt Mills from Leicester this off-season. Mills is a quality operator at this level as evidenced by consistently good displays for Doncaster & Reading, he never settled at Leicester after signing last summer & once Sven Goran Eriksson was replaced Nigel Pearson it became worse after an alleged falling out between him & the new boss, Bolton should provide him with a new start & hopefully he will reward the chance taken on him. Coyle will also have David Wheater & Zat Knight to call upon at centre back meaning poor form & injuries can be covered, the full back positions are more troublesome but he should have Tyrone Mears back after a full year out due to a broken leg (he's made just one Bolton appearance) & the promising youth team graduate Joe Riley also providing competition at right back, Sam Ricketts may start at left back but expect Spanish youngster Marcos Alonso to push for that starting berth too.
Midfield is a real strength for Bolton, we can scarcely believe they've held onto technical experts Stu Holden & Mark Davies so far & Darren Pratley should do better down at this lower level, they've also added Irishman Keith Andrews to the midfield & he's another who should operate well in the Championship & could add a combative element when needed. Out wide they'll have maybe the two best wingers in the league with Lee & Martin Petrov & as wide cover they've picked up 21 year old Gregg Wylde, one of the Rangers players to join the Exodus, Chris Eagles joins the wide players meaning they've plenty to choose from in every position in the midfield & defence.
(Loanee from Arsenal Benik Afobe has been prolific in his youth career & will look to step it up at Bolton)
(Craig Bellamy has rejoined Cardiff to link up with an already good Championship side & other quality summer signings)
Bolton to win Championship at 15/2 (William Hill) & gain promotion at 5/2 (various)
Cardiff City to gain promotion at 4/1 (various)
Benik Afobe to be top Championship goalscorer each way at 25/1 (BetVictor & William Hill) 1/4 odds 1-2-3-4