The third of our 23 previews of each opponent we'll face in the Championship in 2018-19 moves on to Bolton Wanderers...
WHAT HAPPENED IN 2017-18?
It was touch and go as to whether Bolton would be featuring in the Championship in 2018-19, with the Trotters earning survival by the skin of their teeth on the final day of the season. It was a poor start to the campaign as Phil Parkinson's side went 11 games without a win in the league prior to beating Sheffield Wednesday in mid-October. A corner was turned and the confidence from that victory started a run which would see The Whites go seven games unbeaten. Consistency was lacking, but they kept chipping away and picking up points. And just when it looked like it would be a kind end to the campaign, Wanderers were dragged back into the relegation scrap a streak of six defeats in seven winless games and it all came down to the final game of the season against Nottingham Forest at the Macron Stadium. They were 2-1 down with just four minutes remaining, but strikes from David Wheater and then Aaron Wilbraham kept Wanderers up to ensure they would have a second successive season in the second tier.
A BIT ABOUT THE BOSS
Born just up the road in Chorley, Bolton boss Phil Parkinson is set for his third season in charge of the club after arriving from Bradford City in the summer of 2016. He let Bolton to promotion in his first campaign at the helm and prior to that enjoyed plenty of success during his five years with Bradford. He took the club into League One via the play-offs, reached the League Cup Final in 2013 and took the Bantams on a brilliant FA Cup run in 2015 which included the beating of Jose Mourinho's Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. He has also previously been manager of Charlton, Hull and Colchester United, who he achieved promotion with in 2005-06. As a player, Parkinson spent more than 10 years with Reading, appearing over 400 times and twice winning their Player of the Year award. Prior to linking up with the Royals, the then midfielder spent four years at Bury after coming through the youth system at Southampton.
WHAT'S THE GROUND LIKE?
A relatively new stadium, the Macron Stadium has been Bolton's home since 1997 and houses just under 30,000 supporters. Rovers fans will be housed in the South Stand for our visit there in 2018-19.
THE LAST TIME WE LOCKED HORNS
A solitary Gary Madine goal was the difference as Bolton narrowly defeated Rovers at the Macron Stadium in December 2015.
WHO'S PLAYED FOR BOTH?
Liam Feeney is a former Rover and Wanderer, as is fellow midfielder Jay Spearing. Going further back, Gordon Taylor is an ex-player of both teams, whilst Sam Allardyce has managed both clubs too. Further players to have represented both include El Hadji Diouf, Kevin Davies, Danny Guthrie and Neil Danns.
TV presenters Vernon Kay and Paddy McGuinness are both big Bolton supporters, as is professional boxer Amir Khan.