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Ipswich Town versus Bolton Wanderers could be 'one of the best games of the season'

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Bolton Wanderers manager Ian Evatt has talked up Saturday's curtain raiser at Ipswich Town as potentially being 'one of the best games of the season'.

Before a ball has been kicked in anger, the two teams are considered to be among the frontrunners to gain promotion from the EFL League One in 2022/23 alongside the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Derby County, Peterborough United and MK Dons.

And ahead of this weekend's trip south to Suffolk, Evatt believes there is very little to split his side and the one managed by Kieran McKenna in the home dugout.

Wes Burns in action against Bolton at Portman Road last season – a game the visitors won 5-2. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Wes Burns in action against Bolton at Portman Road last season – a game the visitors won 5-2. Picture: Barry Goodwin

He told Bolton News: “I think since Kieran took the job they’ve had a massive upturn in fortunes. I think he’s a very talented young coach, I think his team are excellent, pleasing on the eye.

“I appreciate and enjoy watching them myself, but I’m sure that he’ll look at us and think a similar thing to be honest.

“I think it’s a really high quality game. I think it’s almost spoilt that it’s so early on and the first game of the season because I think it’s going to be technically and tactically one of the best games of the season in this division. That’s my own opinion.

“Whether we’re quite ready and 100 per cent for it, we’ll only know that on Saturday with the quality of the game. Normally, early season games are quite cagey and nervy and they lack a bit of intensity.

“I think both teams want to play with intensity, both want to dominate the ball and have strong core values about what they expect from each other and from our identity, so I think it’s going to be an exciting match-up.

They’ve spent vast amounts of money again. They’ve got some really good players, some really good business. All the players they’ve signed are excellent players, so it’s a really challenging game and probably the most difficult game of our season.

“I would think them and Sheffield Wednesday away will be the two most challenging games, but we don’t fear anybody. We’re going there to show what we can do as well and hopefully get the three points.”

In terms of team news Evatt has confirmed that Iceland international Jon Dadi Bodvarsson is fit to feature at Portman Road, but Eoin Toal, Josh Sheehan and Lloyd Isgrove are all likely to miss out through injury.