Bolton vs Sheff Wed: Starting XI

Yes, there’s a football match this evening. Amazing I know.

We need to start with four at the back for the natural width. I won’t repeat what I’ve written in previous posts – it’s too obvious and dull.

Here’s my starting XI:


Little Burke Beevers Taylor


Morais Cullen Karacan Buckley


I have tended to call for a 4-4-2 formation, and I do rather like both Adam Armstrong and Adam Le Fondre, so dropping them was a difficult decision. However, since we two natural wingers on the wings, I didn’t want to just play with two central midfielders as one of them would have to be Pratley – Cullen and Karacan are too lightweight together.

Therefore, I propose having Derik sit in front of the defence. Although I’ve not been convinced by this before, there have been many players who have surprised me in the past, and I’m happy to be won over by Derik. Pratley clearly hasn’t done well enough to warrant a starting place, unfortunately. This also takes some of the pressure off Cullen and Karacan when it comes to defending.

Morais starting on the right is a no-brainer. Yes, he’s good as a wing back, but believe me, he’s better as a winger as he can focus on what he’s good at: running down the line and crossing. Buckley was great for Brighton on the left, and has impressed so far at Bolton.

This leaves us with just one striker, and a pretty obvious choice: Gary Madine. Provided that he can get sufficient support from the midfield, I think this formation would suit him.

Will this happen? Probably not, as Parky doesn’t seem to love listening to me.

With Dervite out, I expect something along these lines:


Derik Burke Beevers

Morais Cullen Pratley Karacan Taylor

Madine Le Fondre

Parky seemed to hint towards a Le Fondre start. Meanwhile, he does seem set on playing three at the back, which I’m not ideologically against. I just feel that it doesn’t make the most of our talents (i.e. it doesn’t allow Buckley to start).

However we line up, we’ll have to be at our best as we look to get our first win of the season.

Which formation would you go with? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.



3 thoughts on “Bolton vs Sheff Wed: Starting XI

Add yours

  1. I doubt that Parky will select either of your teams. I like your first eleven, but wonder where the goals will come from. I guess it would be down to Madine. He would probably love to play and score anyway. Instead, think he will play Alnwick, Wilbraham, Earing, Derik, Buckley, Armstrong and Robinson somewhere. God knows what the formation will be, but like you and thousands of others I hope it’s four at the back with a sweeper in front. When Wheater comes back, I would like to see Burke play in front of a back four. He may be exceptional in that position for us. Get Vela fit and Ameobi firing on all cylinders and we will be a different proposition.


  2. Bolton made a better fist of this match than they did on Saturday. But of course, they weren’t playing against Derby. With seven changes to that team, we set about the task brightly and this time, although we played 3-5-2, attacked down the wings in true fashion. Both Robinson and Little were very effective. We also created numerous chances, none of which were converted until the 41st minute when Dervite, of all people volleyed into the net from a corner. Derik protected the back line very well and sprayed passes all over the park. Karacan was much more effective in midfield. Darby again had a poor game. He is on the slow side and gets caught out, with and without the ball. Although he did kick a certain goal off the line. Beevers too seems to struggle more at this level. He gave away a number of dangerous free-kicks around the edge of the box because of his slowness. In fact, if the away fans had their way, he would have been sent off!! However, everyone worked hard and we thoroughly deserved a 3-0 lead. And we presumed it was all over, but remember this is Bolton! Once they got back into it, we went into our shell a bit and began to make silly mistakes. It became almost one-way traffic for ten minutes, but we defended stoutly. Rhodes scored his customary two goals at the Macron. He wasn’t brilliant, but that’s what he’s paid for! I would have brought Madine on for Wilbraham half-way through the second period. He might have kept the ball better and set up more chances for Armstrong. The latter’s speed troubled Wednesday all night. All in all though, a good result and one that just might give Parky food for thought for Friday’s team.


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