The blood and thunder of the Championship has begun with a bang over the last two days. From The Stadium Of Light to Brammall Lane there was shocks, controversy and the predictable unpredictability that goes hand in hand with this league. We start tomorrow, and emotions are all over the shop.
What Bolton represent are a modern-day Championship fixture, a game you think you should win but as soon as the whistle goes you have no idea what will unfold. We go into the unknown with a new coach, new players and a new philosophy. Thomas Christiansen may think he knows what to expect but when he walks out and sees five thousand Leeds fans in full voice to his right the pressure will hit home. The same goes with the players, new and old who will feel the anticipation, passion and excitement from the travelling army who expect to come back across the Pennines with three points.
Christiansen has a fully fit squad to pick from, but Pontus Jansson is suspended. The rest of the team is full of tough picks and big calls, and he will want to make sure he has a team that go out and look like they are going to win the game. Last season it was the opposite, we were unfit, unprepared and were swallowed up by the occasion, Queens Park Rangers embarrassing us from the word go in what turned out to be a pathetic attempt at a performance. Decisions have to be made and it looks like we will have a new captain, chosen by the players. Who that will be we are likely to find out before kick-off.
Bolton are no mugs and have made plenty of signings this summer. Adam Armstrong, Adam Le Fondre, Will Buckley, Reece Burke all coming into the club and they still have a few good players from last season. Phil Parkinson will know that opening day, on Sky, big crowd…all is in favour of Bolton, the underdogs yet a side that are still on a high after winning promotion. It’s a banana skin and anyone who thinks we will roll them over may well be shocked at what they see from the newly promoted side tomorrow. Millwall battered Nottingham Forest but lost on Friday and Sheffield United beat Brentford today…