Manchester United vs. Bolton: Predicting United's Starting 11

Devil in a New DressSenior Writer ISeptember 6, 2011

Manchester United vs. Bolton: Predicting United's Starting 11

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    Despite fielding Manchester United's second-youngest side ever, Sir Alex Ferguson's squad laid down a marker by smashing Arsenal to bits at Old Trafford.

    Next for Manchester United are Bolton Wanderers. Owen Coyle's men are typically gutsy, rugged opponents and will present a test of character for United's kids.

    Here are my predictions for Manchester United's starting lineup against Bolton.

G: David De Gea

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    David de Gea is Manchester United's No. 1 goalkeeper, and he is most definitely going to start against Bolton.

    It will take time for De Gea to get a grasp of the English language; thankfully, the language of football is universal, and De Gea is improving with each and every match.

    Speaking to journalists, Wayne Rooney had this to say about David De Gea:

    He is still young and has probably got a lot to learn, but he is working hard and doing well in training.

    He is a strong character. After the Manchester City game, and then West Brom he didn't seem to be affected. He was on the training pitch the next day, working hard. The last couple of games he's done well for us and he will only get better the more he plays.

    David is obviously a good shot-stopper. I hadn't seen much of him before he signed but that was something I saw immediately. And his passing out from the back is alongside Edwin's. He very rarely kicks long to a forward.

LB: Patrice Evra

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    Acting as deputy captain because of the absence of Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra is again playing his never-changing role of Mr. Dependable. 

    The Frenchman's link-up play with Ashley Young is fast approaching the success of the partnership he shared with Cristiano Ronaldo, and his experience is a huge advantage.

    Barring injury, Patrice Evra should start against Bolton. 

RB: Chris Smalling

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    Chris Smalling's start to the season could not have begun any better. Not only has he kept Fabio da Silva's behind firmly plastered to the bench, he has managed to tackle his job at right-back in a way that puts shame on the more established right-backs in the league.

    Subsequently, Smalling recently earned his first England cap as a starter.

    Speaking about his role at right-back, Smalling had this to say:

    I played a few games at right-back in pre-season, but so did Phil Jones because we had lost players like Wes Brown and John O'Shea.

    I can do a job at right-back but I see it as a temporary thing. If Sir Alex tells me to play full-back then I'll try my best to do the job, but I think I am a centre-half.

    I want to be challenging Rio [Ferdinand] and [Nemanja] Vidic for their place because that's where I feel I'm at my best. That's where I have always played. I hope that in the future I'll get to play there for club and country.

CB: Jonny Evans

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    Despite a few shaky moments in the games against Tottenham Hotspur and West Bromwich Albion, Jonny Evans has been very solid at the back for United so far this season, and I see him starting for United at center back.

    Evans has displayed some good form for United over the past few weeks and is the most experienced of United's young defenders. This experience will come in handy against this traditionally rugged Bolton side.

CB: Phil Jones

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    Phil Jones seems the best choice, at the moment, to partner Jonny Evans.

    The England U-21 international has displayed a calm and presence of mind that belies his age, and has showed such good form that he's earned a call up to the England senior side.

    In my opinion, one of United's best signings in years, Phil Jones will add steel and true grit to the United defense.

LM: Ashley Young

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    Barclays Premier League: Three games, two goals and four assists.

    England: Three games, one goal, one assist.

    That's Ashley Young's start to the season so far.

    Not bad huh?

RM: Luis Nani

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    Four games and three goals so far: that's Nani wrapped up.

    The Portuguese midfielder has been in imperious form for Manchester United so far this season. He has added goal scoring to his CV, and the assists will come.

    Nani's threat on the counter-attack is well known, and it will be a plus for United against Bolton.

    Speaking on his aims for the season, Nani said:

    That’s one dream I’ve got: to be the best in the world. But I don’t let it frustrate me. I’m not like: 'I have to be the best in the world', because I have other priorities like winning trophies with the team.

    Hopefully, when I have finished playing football, people will say 'Nani was a fantastic player who won a lot of titles and beat records at the club' or something like that.

    I know I have the condition to be among the select best players in the world, but I have to work hard and show that.

    Sometimes that doesn’t happen, but what I can promise is that as long as I am a football player, I will do my best to try to get there.

MC: Anderson

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    Anderson's contribution to the United team so far has been immense. He has given Sir Alex Ferguson's men a real presence in midfield, scoring goals and providing assists as well.

    The man Sir Alex intends to build his squad around, Anderson is now a key figure for Manchester United and the way they aim to play.

    In a recent interview, Sir Alex had nothing but praise for the Brazilian:

    He's been tremendous, the boy. He's had a couple of long-term injuries which haven’t helped him, but in the last year or so, he's steered clear of injury.

    That means he's training every day so his fitness levels are much better. And he’s maturing so you can see the consistency in his game.

MC: Tom Cleverley

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    Tom Cleverley's honeymoon period may be over, but he is still alive and kicking.

    Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs and Park Ji-Sung still on the bench: job done.

    The perfect accompaniment for Anderson, Tom Cleverley is likely to start more games alongside the Brazilian than any other one of United's midfielders—in essence, a lot of games. 

SC: Wayne Rooney

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    At a certain point, there's nothing more to say.

SC: Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez

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    With Danny Welbeck out with a hamstring injury, United's striking partnership will have a much more familiar feel to it against Bolton.

    Javier Hernandez is a shoo-in for the second striker spot and will be keen to get his campaign underway after recovering from the concussion he sustained during preseason.