GARY Rowett has a pretty good idea of his Burton Albion side for the opening match of the League Two season – but the players still have a chance to change his mind.
The Brewers kick off at Oxford United a week tomorrow and the manager is almost sure of his starting XI at the Kassam Stadium.
"I've got an idea in my head based on what I've seen so far in pre-season and where players are in terms of fitness," he said.
"That might dictate to a certain degree the starting team."
But despite his plans almost being concrete, Rowett says there is still a chance for players to change his mind.
The Brewers face a Stoke City XI at the Pirelli Stadium tomorrow, kick-off 3pm, before a behind-closed-doors game against Nottingham Forest at St George's Park on Tuesday.
Both, along with training sessions, will allow players to stake a claim.
"Even at this point there's always an opportunity for one or two to come in and show me over the next two games that maybe my thoughts are not the right ones," said Rowett.
"That's up to the players. No-one is ever more than a couple of games away from coming into the team.
"At this point it's about everyone showing what they've got and me looking at which ones are best."
For the visit of Stoke tomorrow, with the Potters probably bringing an under-21 side with a smattering of their Premier League stars, Rowett is unsure of his starting team as he balances the need for fitness and the desire to play his strongest side.
"It's a difficult one really," said the manager. "Normally, before the season, you want to play your strongest team in anticipation of the game coming the week after. This season we've got a squad all capable of playing."
Stoke play Blackburn on Sunday, but first-team players who could feature include Wilson Palacios, Ryan Shotton, Jon Walters and Cameron Jerome.