News From Manchester: ‘Most difficult to select’ – Bolton Wanderers predicted line-up for Ipswich Town clash

Wanderers begin the new League One campaign tomorrow afternoon against the Tractor Boys. The Whites will make the long journey to Suffolk and Portman Road.

Evatt has a nearly fully fit squad to choose from, with only summer signing Eoin Toal, midfielder Josh Sheehan and winger Lloyd Isgrove missing. Toal is poised to be back available soon through while Sheehan and Isgrove are set to step up their recoveries from injuries with B team appearances soon.

Evatt has been a manager since 2018 and he believes the choices he needs to make for tomorrow's encounter is the toughest he has had to make in that time. He believes there will be some unlucky individuals to not be even in the matchday squad, but that all will be given their chance this campaign.

He told the Manchester Evening News : “Since I have been a manager it is the most difficult team and squad I have had to select, there is no denying that. I think there are some really unlucky players come Saturday, not all of them because some have outperformed others in pre-season, but there are some who will be massively unlucky not to start the game on Saturday.

“But that is football and they are going to play at some stage. When they do play, they need to make sure they stay in, simple as that.”

The Wanderers team which takes to the pitch against the Tractor Boys may not differ vastly from the side which began the final pre-season friendly last weekend against Huddersfield Town. James Trafford is likely to start as goalkeeper.

The back three could be Gethin Jones, captain Ricardo Santos and George Johnston, with Will Aimson and Jack Iredale other options. At wing-back, Conor Bradley and Declan John would be expected to start, though Kieran Sadlier is another option on the right and impressed after coming off the bench to score the leveller against the Terriers.

In central midfield, Evatt is awash with options, but MJ Williams and Aaron Morley could well be given the nod. Upfront, Evatt could well keep faith with Dion Charles and Dapo Afolayan as the strike partnership, with Kieran Lee in the number 10 role.

But Jon Dadi Bodvarsson is also fit and so are Amadou Bakayoko and Elias Kachunga. One of these could line up alongside Charles and mean Afolayan goes back into the number 10 role, where Lee and Kyle Dempsey are also competition.

Predicted Bolton Wanderers starting team vs Ipswich Town: Trafford; Jones, Santos, Johnston; Bradley, Williams, Morley, John; Lee; Charles, Afolayan.

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