Everyone has varying opinions about the Carling Cup and how seriously we should take it. On one hand, there's the "a trophy is a trophy" crowd. On the other hand, there's the "I don't care about the Mickey Mouse Cup" crowd. On a weird third hand that just grew out of my shoulder, there's the "I don't care that much, but I want to see the starters if we get to the semifinal" folks.
Regardless of how much you care about the Carling Cup, I think that we can all agree that the strength of the team played should come down to a variety of factors, such as the strength of the team in front of us and the importance of upcoming fixtures.
In the Third Round of the Carling Cup, we go away to the Brittania Stadium to face Stoke City. They're not one of the giants of English football, but this is a really tough game. Stoke is reasonably talented, really good at pissing people off, and exceptional at home. This would not be an easy game for our first team.
Meanwhile, we play Wigan at the DW Stadium on the weekend. It's not a gimme, but it's a game we're good enough to win with 2-3 of our starters on the bench.
So, I present this question to you: What kind of a team do you want to see against Stoke City in the Carling Cup? Vote in the poll below and discuss in the comments.