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Dougie Freedman tinkers with his lineup... a lot. The decisions to shuffle players around, sit some, play others, and not name a few to match day squads have become a reality for Bolton Wanderers. For seven games now. many of the aforementioned decisions have been made by choice rather than necessity with one or two notable exceptions.
This weekend, the manager will be forced to shuffle his back line once more, this time due to a mandatory ban. With his penalty-giving tackle against Ipswich Town at the weekend, right back Tyrone Mears was shown a yellow card and duly earned a ban for accumulation. Mears has been ever-present this season for Bolton Wanderers and it has now become a selection dilemma for Dougie Freedman as he has choices ahead of him.
Waiting in the wings for Bolton Wanderers are two natural right backs: one who has been getting consistent time and one who hasn't had a chance in the league this year.
Should Dougie elect to place Sam Ricketts in the right back position, it would force at least one more change in the back line. Ricketts has started the last two games alongside Zat Knight. Should Ricketts make the move wide, it could very well see Matt Mills or Tim Ream back in contention.
The other option is for Joe Riley to slot back into the side after not having a single league appearance this season. The youngster impressed in Bolton's 5-0 roasting of Stoke last season but didn't have nearly as much fun against the likes of West Bromwich Albion later on. This season, he's not been given a chance for the Trotters and Saturday against the Terriers could well be his way in.
The other question for the defense is on the left flank where both Stephen Warnock and Marcos Alonso have a chance to start. Warnock missed the match against Ipswich Town and Alonso filled in well for him, giving the Trotters another option going forward. The problem for the young Spanish defender has been consistency as he's had games that were both exceptional and awful with him not being able to string together a decent run of form.
Who would you prefer to see at the back?