Bolton Wanderers kick off their 2023/24 League One campaign with a game against Lincoln City in front of their own fans at the Toughsheet Community Stadium on Saturday.
Bolton finished 5th in League One last season but exited the playoffs in the opening round after falling to a 2-1 aggregate defeat to Barnsley.
It was strong season overall for The Trotters and they were unlucky to be competing in arguably the toughest League One season in recent memory, but they'll desperately be hoping to go one better this time out in what is a far more navigable league from a quality standpoint and finally secure promotion back to the Championship having spent a number of seasons down in England's third tier.
Manager Ian Evatt committed his future to the club with a new contract over the summer and fans will likely regard that as the best piece of business the club could have sealed given what he's achieved with such limited resources.
The summer transfer window has been a fruitful one for The Trotters having brought in a total of ten permanent transfers including midfielder Carlos Mendes Gomes from Luton Town, defender Will Forrester from Port Vale and goalkeeper Nathan Baxter from Chelsea.
Evatt and co have also recruited midfielder Paris Maghoma on loan from Brentford and left-back Zac Ashworth on loan from West Brom in a pair of moves they hope will aid their promotion push.
Bolton are looking very strong heading into this season and are rightly one of the automatic promotion favourites.
They have a settled, long-serving manager and a strong squad and it feels like it's going to take three very good teams to stop them gaining promotion this season.
Lincoln City finished 11th in League One last season in what was a solid but forgettable campaign.
The Imps, led by Mark Kennedy, showed promising signs last season and often proved a very difficult side to beat but were, ultimately, held back by an inability to swing tight games their way which led to an excessive number of draws.
The summer transfer window has been a strong one for them so far having made number of additions that appear pretty shrewd.
Winger Reeco Hackett-Fairchild has been brought in from Portsmouth while Ethan Hamilton was signed from relegated Accrington Stanley.
On top of that, Lukas Jensen (Burnley), Alistair Smith (Sutton United), Jaden Brown and former loanee Tyler Walker (Coventry City) were all signed on free transfers in what represents a good set of reinforcements for Lincoln.
Still, it remains to be seen whether or not they can mould a side capable mounting a play-off push as other sides around them have arguably strengthen to a more impressive degree so it's going to be difficult to crack the top six this season.
They'll be a tough cookie to beat, no doubt, but they've been given arguably the toughest start possible here.
For our Bolton vs. Lincoln prediction, we're going for a 2-0 win for the home side.