Wanderers looking ahead to tricky September

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Bolton went unbeaten in August, but there were still some indifferent performances from the Trotters during the opening month of the season.

They stuttered to a 0-0 draw at home to Fulham, before overcoming West Ham at Upton Park, and battling back from 2-0 down to Birmingham to steal a draw with 10 men.

But September could be looked upon with a very different sort of outlook. Just three games, due to the international break, all without star goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, against clubs who all finished in the top seven last season.

First up is a trip to the Emirates. Arsenal have started the season well, with a last minute draw at Anfield, a crushing defeat of Blackpool and a good win away at Blackburn, where only two sides managed to win last campaign.

The Gunners sit second in the table and have Cesc Fabregas almost back to full fitness. Arsenal are very difficult to beat at the Emirates, and their total football approach to the game may be too much for Owen Coyle's men on this occasion.

Next up is a trip to Aston Villa, a club seemingly in turmoil, but after their start to the season it's very difficult to read anything into it.

Two good wins at home to West Ham and Everton, coupled with a humiliating defeat at Newcastle, and exiting the Europa League to the same side who knocked them out last year, means no-one quite knows what Villa hold in the upcoming fixtures.

One thing that is for sure is that they should have a new manager, whether that will be Kevin MacDonald, or someone else remains to be seen, but Bolton may come up against a rejuvinated Villa side in mid-September.

Finally, Bolton have a home game, against Manchester United. United have had a similar start to Arsenal, two convincing wins and a closely contested draw.

But it does appear the Reds are playing well; Dimitar Berbatov has taken off where many fans would want, Wayne Rooney finally has his goal and Rio Ferdinand should be back in the back four by the time they visit the Reebok.

Bolton have had a surprising amount of good results against United since their promotion to the top league, but were the victims of a 4-0 drubbing when United travelled the short distance to Bolton towards the back end of last season.

The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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Bolton Wanderers
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