Premier League preview: Bolton Wanderers

Last season: 16th
Key signing: Johan Elmander
With the sale of Nicolas Anelka to Chelsea in January, Bolton lacked a goalscorer for the second half of last season. But the signing of Johan Elmander doesn’t appear to have replaced him either. With an £11,000,000 price tag, fears of the worst signing of the season are in sight for the Swede if he doesn’t perform. He has never been a prolific goalscorer and first came to fame in 2001 when playing for Dutch side Feyenoord, although he was considered a flop there. When playing for Danish champions Brondby for 2 seasons between 2004 and 2006 he never hit the goal tally that was expected from him, although was liked by the fans for his creative and attractive football. He is the only bright spark Bolton have brought in this summer but may struggle to reach double figures in the goals department.

Key player: Jussi Jaaskelainen
Jussi Jaaskelainen has been a rock during most of his decade at the club. A back injury at the end of last season kept him out of the final few games, but we expect him to be back to his usual top form for this season. That is after signing a 4-year contract this summer after being linked with moves away from the club. Jaaskelainen has been one of the top keepers in the Premier League over the last decade.

Despite only being at Bolton until January, Nicolas Anelka remained their top scorer last season with 10 goals. Kevin Nolan was next on the list, but with just 5 next to his name. He is going to be one of Bolton’s key players this season and may need to score more goals than last season to keep Bolton up.

Gary Megon took over in October 2007 after Sammy Lee got off to a poor start last season. His first win came against Manchester United, but he was always in for a relegation scrap. Fortunately he got the better of it, staying up by just 1 point and a few goals. This season is going to be an even harder test for him, bringing in an expensive striker who has no experience in either of the top 3 leagues in Europe and very little experience in the Champions League to rely on for goals. And a centre back in Danny Shittu who appears to be a mould of Darren Moore (with a better scoring record), tall and strong, maybe a bit clumsy and will likely struggle in the Premier League with his lack of pace.

Best bet: Relegation 3/1

Football Betting Expert

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