The game tomorrow night gives Thomas Christiansen the chance to play some of his new signings who are looking to settle down and fight for a place in the first-team. It also represents a chance for players to get some fitness, the likes of Samu Saiz and Mateusz Klich will be delighted with the chance for more minutes.
These two are the best examples of players who need the minutes to step up their fitness after making only the bench on Sunday at Bolton. Others will also get a chance hopefully as players get a chance to impress ahead of Saturday’s home game against Preston, followed by a quick turnaround and Fulham at home. There were some players who didn’t even make the squad on Sunday and they are players who would expect to be playing, never mind sitting in the stands watching. Liam Bridcutt, Stuart Dallas, Ronaldo Vieira, Marcus Antonsson and Souleymane Doukara all didn’t make the squad and Pontus Jansson is still suspended, so there is one more spot that will be taken come Saturday afternoon.
I would expect wholesale changes to the side tomorrow, I think it would be a chance missed if Christiansen didn’t. What is really good for the situation is that the new boss won his first game at Bolton. That totally takes the pressure of him and changes will be viewed as a chance to see new faces rather than missing a chance to try and find his strongest side. It happened last year when we were embarrassed by Queens park Rangers which meant that Garry Monk had to play his strongest side away at Fleetwood in the cup and we only just scraped through, a stoppage time equaliser from Marcus Antonsson saving us what would have been a horrific defeat.
Michael Tonge and Danny Pugh will probably line up for the visitors tomorrow, a side that is led by Michael Brown. Tyler Denton joined the visiting side but can’t play in the game tomorrow as he is ineligible.http://peacockandsmiley.com/4632/done-deal-denton-heads-out-on-loan/.
Ronaldo Vieira is apparently being rested at the moment after a hectic summer so I wouldn’t risk him although I would play him over Bridcutt if not. We have our hands tied at the back, we can’t be playing Ayling for me as he needs to be fit for Saturday because he is the only one who can play right across the back-line. Borthwick-Jackson should start and the front four is a complete rotation, all players looking to impress, Saiz especially will want to put a marker down as will Polish international Klich in the middle of the park.