"Big Sam" can take the credit for turning Bolton into a side capable of fighting for the European competition spots, but whether he will be warmly welcomed back to the Reebok remains to be seen.
Sven-Goran Eriksson, whose time as England coach was viewed as a costly flop by the British press, starts his Premiership management career when he takes Manchester City to Upton Park in East London to face West Ham United.
Wigan Athletic, who escaped relegation on the final day of last season, start the battle to avoid the drop anew against Everton at Goodison Park. The hosts are hoping to at least emulate last season's sixth-placed finish and a UEFA Cup spot.
Championship play-off winners Derby County host Portsmouth, while Blackburn Rovers travel to Middlesbrough.