West Brom v Bolton preview
Last Updated: 03/08/18 11:59am
Salomon Rondon and Jay Rodriguez remain at West Brom and could start against Bolton on Saturday.
The duo have been linked with moves following Albion’s relegation from the Premier League last season, with the club rejecting Burnley’s £16million bid for Rodriguez this week.
Craig Dawson has been battling a thigh problem, with the defender keen to leave, although the Baggies will demand at least £20m. James Morrison signed a new one-year deal on Friday having been out of contract and is available for Darren Moore’s side.
Bolton should have all their new signings available, including Luke Murphy. The midfielder joined from Leeds on a free transfer this week after his contract at Elland Road was terminated.
Yanic Wildschut, Marc Wilson, Clayton Donaldson and Josh Magennis are all on standby to make their debuts. Bolton avoided relegation from the Sky Bet Championship on the final day of last season.
West Bromwich Albion have won just three of their last 23 matches against Bolton in all competitions (D12 L8).
Bolton are winless in seven visits to the Hawthorns in all competitions (D5 L2) since a 2-0 win in August 2000 under Sam Allardyce.
In four of WBA's last five seasons outside the top-flight, they have gone on to win promotion when they've failed to win on opening day (2001-02, 2003-04, 2007-08, 2009-10), but failed to gain promotion in the one season they did win on opening day (2006-07).
Bolton and West Brom haven't met on the opening day of the season since the 1898-99 season, a 3-3 draw in the top-flight.
In the Premier League era, only three teams relegated from the top-flight in the previous season have lost at home on the opening day in the second tier - Crystal Palace in 2005-06, Derby County in 2008-09 and most recently West Ham United in 2011-12.
In three of the last five seasons, the team facing Bolton on the opening day of the season has gone on to win promotion - Burnley in 2013-14 and Watford in 2014-15 in the Championship and Sheffield United in 2016-17 in League One.
West Brom are among the favourites for promotion but Darren Moore faces a difficult job to take the Baggies straight back to the Premier League, especially with the question marks surrounding the future of a few of their key players.
Bolton, meanwhile, survived in the most dramatic fashion last season and will be delighted to be playing at this level this season. Phil Parkinson has done brilliantly there but it's likely to be another season of struggle for the Trotters. Bore draw.
David Prutton predicts: 0-0 (10/1 with Sky Bet)