IAN Evatt has a selection dilemma in midfield ahead of Wanderers’ League One clash with Shrewsbury at the weekend.

MJ Williams and summer signing Josh Sheehan have started the season in the middle, with captain Antoni Sarcevic playing in an advanced role.

However, Kieran Lee was given a start at Charlton on Tuesday night and certainly made the most of his opportunity, scoring twice as the Whites ran out 4-1 winners in the capital.

Wanderers’ 4-2-3-1 system means there is only place for three of the four midfielders in Saturday’s starting XI, but who will get the nod?

MJ Williams

Williams is the most defensive option and plays an important role in the Whites’ system, allowing those around him to push forward and create chances.

The stats back up the Welshman’s defensive contributions, having made more interceptions (nine) and clearances (11) than his midfield partners so far this season.

Williams has also provided a couple of assists, proving he is good enough on the ball to work under Ian Evatt’s possession-based approach.

The former Rochdale man also has the best pass accuracy figures, but it’s worth noting that he tends to play more sideways passes which are often less risky.

Antoni Sarcevic

Sarcevic is the most natural fit for the number 10 role and is a leader on the pitch, having worn the captain’s armband since the start of last season.

The former Plymouth man also has a knack for popping up with important goals, as he did in the 1-0 win at Lincoln last month.

And Sarcevic defends from the front - having made more tackles (13) than his midfield partners so far this season – which is an important part of Wanderers’ approach out of possession.

Moreover, the Bolton skipper has attempted more forward passes than both Sheehan and Lee, which suggests he is a more dynamic player in terms of bridging the gap between midfield and attack.

Josh Sheehan

Sheehan has made a bright start to his Wanderers career after impressing for Newport in League Two last season.

The Welsh international is capable of producing moments of quality in the final third, having already scored three times this term.

Moreover, the stats suggest that Sheehan creates more chances for his team-mates and is the best long passer – giving his side the option to go more direct at times.

The Welshman’s set-pieces also help him stand out from the rest following his stunning effort against MK Dons on the opening day.

Kieran Lee

Lee faced an uphill battle after missing part of pre-season while having to self-isolate, but his performance against Charlton is a reminder of what he can do.

The former Sheffield Wednesday man is currently averaging more goals and assists per game than his midfield partners this season.

He is also third in League One for attacking sequences ending in a shot, which suggests he is more likely to make something happen.

Lee’s experience is invaluable at this level and the midfielder could still have a big part to play in the coming weeks and months.


Williams seems likely start against Shrewsbury due to the importance of his role in Wanderers’ system.

Sarcevic also seems likely to start due to his leadership qualities and experience in the number 10 role.

This leaves Sheehan and Lee to battle it out for the remaining spot. The data suggests that Sheehan is more likely to create a key chance, while Lee is more of a goal threat.

Evatt has a tough decision to make, but the Whites’ strength in depth is an example of how far the club has come since the Football Ventures takeover.