Tim Ream is a doubt for Bolton’s Sky Bet Championship opener against Derby.
The left-back, who is a target for QPR, returned from international duty with USA troubled by a dead leg and has been rated “touch and go” by manager Neil Lennon.
Fellow defenders Derik Osede, signed this summer from Real Madrid, and David Wheater will both miss the start of the season due to respective ankle and calf complaints but new signing Prince-Desir Gouano could make his debut after joining this week.
Max Clayton is back training after tearing his cruciate ligament in his knee but Lennon does not expect to see him in action for another couple of weeks.
Jake Buxton should be the only absentee for Paul Clement’s first game as Derby head coach.
Buxton has not played a competitive game for the Rams since March due to a back problem and the defender continues to recover from surgery.
Craig Bryson missed the final two pre-season friendly matches because of a tight hamstring but the Scotland international midfielder has trained this week and is expected to be fit for selection.
Clement has significantly strengthened the Derby squad over the summer and the likes of Darren Bent, Alex Pearce, Scott Carson, Andreas Weimann, Tom Ince, Jason Shackell and Chris Baird, this week named as the Rams’ new captain instead of Richard Keogh, are all in contention for starting places.
Bolton (5/2) haven’t won in their last five matches against Derby and the odds suggest that trend will continue on Saturday.
Paul Clement’s Sky Bet Championship title favourites are 21/20 to get off to a winning start. The Rams completed the double over Bolton last season and won this fixture 2-0, a 17/2 shot this time around with the League sponsor.
Chris Martin and Darren Bent are both 9/2 to net the opener, with Zach Clough 5/2 to get his name on the scoresheet for the hosts.
New Sky Sports football pundit Ian Holloway is predicting an upset and is tipping Bolton to pull off a 2-0 win at 16/1.