I don't manage Bolton Wanderers Football Club. I don't have any say in who steps on that hallowed pitch on Saturday. But that doesn't mean that I haven't spent the time considering who I would play if I were Owen Coyle. I generally took the tried and true approach, starting proven veterans over new boys trying to take their place. This isn't the strongest team that Bolton have on the books, but I do believe it's the strongest team Coyle could play tomorrow.
Goalkeeper: While Adam Bogdan performed well in the cup matches he was given, I don't think there will be any argument about who should start between the sticks.
Defense: The back four brought a little more debate, with realistically two places at stake. Cahill and Steinsson were shoe ins, as Cahill is undoubtedly our best central defender, and Steinsson our only fit right back. That leaves David Wheater v. Zat Knight for the remaining spot in central defense, and Marcos Alonso v. Paul Robinson at left back. While both Wheater and Alonso did well when called upon, they're just not as composed or mature as Knight and Robinson, meaning the old guard retains their place.
Midfield: The midfield has been a trick ever since Stu's injury. A Muamba-Mavies pairing in the center was boring and lacked creativity. However last game Coyle appeared to find a solution to that, putting Johan Elmander in the center with Muamba as Mavies was still unavailable. This match we should have all three, Elmander just has to get the start after what he did last match, and even though he's been out I think Mark Davies just has more skill than Muamba. Our wings pick themselves, especially after playing their socks off against West Ham.
Forwards: Kevin Davies is also a shoo-in, given that he's our captain and an excellent player to boot. Partnering him I have Klasnic, because though Rodrigo looked good, I don't think he's proved himself enough to earn a starting spot.
Agree? Disagree? Think we're dumb? Have a go yourself and tell us your lineup!