It is no surprise to see Bolton Wanderers being made favourites to win the 2012/13 Championship – but their price of 7/1 at Ladbrokes is definitely a shock, for two reasons.
The first is to do with their record against teams to finish around them in the Premier League last season, which is the closest resemblance to the level of opposition they will face in the second tier.
Against the other six teams to finish in the bottom seven of the Premier League, Bolton collected 26 points from a possible tally of 36.
They failed to lose against fellow relegated Wolves and Blackburn, while they took 16 points from the six away games.
This shows that Bolton came on strong in the games most dubbed as six pointers and victory against their main promotion rivals in the coming campaign will see them have one foot back in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, they were incredibly unlucky with injuries last season and the return of many of their midfield talents will be a big boost to their attacking play.
Lee Chung-Yong almost enjoyed a clean sweep of awards at Bolton’s end of season bash two summers’ ago and was expected to be an indispensible member of their squad in the last campaign.
However, he missed the whole season after breaking a leg in a friendly with Newport County and was a major loss.
Stuart Holden was another major midfield absentee in the last campaign and his partnership alongside Lee looks stronger than the majority of others in the Championship.
Alternatively, Bolton can be backed at 2/1 with Ladbrokes
to simply be promoted, which also gives punters some other options in the club finishing second or winning the play-offs.