Preview: Poyet Planning To Shuffle His Pack?

Jan Kruger

We just can't get enough of the domestic cups this year on Wearside as hot on the tails of Wednesday night's quite remarkable victory, Sunderland welcome conference side Kidderminster Harriers to the Stadium of Light in the FA Cup. Is there a potential upset on the cards or a routine win for Poyet's men?

Sunderland Team News

With there likely some tired legs among the Sunderland squad following the sheer effort they put in on Wednesday night, Gus Poyet looks set to heavily rotate his side tomorrow afternoon:

I plan to make many changes for the Kidderminster game.

Hopefully I will be able to rest everyone - so there will be games for both our new signings, Santiago Vergini and Oscar Ustari.

They were both on the bench at Old Trafford and the great thing, from our point of view, is that they will have seen that and they will know they have a challenge at this club getting into the team.

That is good. That is how it should be.

They will get their debuts this weekend, but they will know they cannot rely on being automatically picked after witnessing what their team-mates did at Old Trafford.

So there you have it, straight from the horse's mouth.

As well as the two new boys I would expect the likes of Emanuele Giaccherini, Jozy Altidore, Valentin Roberge, Ondrej Celustka and Sebastian Larsson vying for a starting position having played little or no part at Old Trafford. There may also be a case for Duncan Watmore and El-Hadji Ba a run out following their impressive cameo's against Carlisle in the last round.

Kidderminster Harriers Team News

Three-thousand, seven hundred Harriers' fans are set to make the trip to Sunderland in what is billed as their biggest game in years with limited edition shirts, printed especially for the occasion proving popular in Kidderminster.

The FA Cup giantkillers have recently added former Manchester City trainee Adrian Cieslewicz to their ranks along with Argentine midfielder Santiago Aloi. Cieslewicz, joins from Wrexham where he scored twice in twenty appearances with his last goal coming in a fixture against Kidderminster back in November.

Cieslewicz has been signed as a replacement for the talented Joe Lolley who has recently left Harriers for Huddersfield Town although he will be unavailable for selection tomorrow having already featured in the competition for Wrexham.

Harriers succumbed to a 2-1 home defeat to an out-of-form Dartford during the week.

Predicted Lineups:

Sunderland vs Kidderminster Harriers - FA Cup - 25th January 2014 - Football tactics and formations

Sunderland: Ustari; Celustka, Vergini, Roberge, Dossena; Larsson, Gardner, Ba; Watmore, Giaccherini, Altidore

Kidderminster Harriers: Lewis; Vaughan, Demetriou, Jackman, Gowling; Byrne, Storer, Fowler, Johnson; Gash, Malbon

Key Matchup: Emanuel Giaccherini vs Kidderminster Harriers

It would be fair to say that the Italian hasn't quite set the world alight as expected since his much heralded arrival in the summer and indeed it has been difficult to see exactly how he would slot into Gus Poyet's current setup based on his showings earlier in the season. However with Poyet looking increasingly likely to grant the influential Ki Sung-Yeung and the inform Adam Johnson a well-earned rest, Sunderland will need to look elsewhere for a creative spark and little Giacc could very well step up to the plate.

Recent Form: LDWWPL

Loss: Luton 6-0 Kidderminster Harriers

Draw: Kidderminster Harriers 0-0 Peterborough

Win: Kidderminster Harriers 3-0 Salisbury

Win: Peterborough 1-3 Kidderminster Harriers

Postponed: Aldershot P-P Kidderminster Harriers

Loss: Kidderminster Harriers 1-2 Dartford

Last Time Around: N/A

Both Sunderland and Kidderminster Harriers have been kicking around for over 125 years but tomorrow will be the first time the two sides have met in any competition.

The Ref: Roger East

East is one of the latest additions to top flight officiating, with his first game coming in September of 2012 as he oversaw a 2-2 draw between Swansea and Sunderland.

So far this term East has been in charge of seventeen games in the English leagues, dishing out fifty-six yellow cards in the process but is yet to reach for to his back pocket.

Saturday afternoon will Roger's first game involving Sunderland this season.

What The Managers Said:

Gus Poyet:

I'm not a fan of squad rotation, but it's one thing to not be a fan and another to be silly in your decisions. It's an opportunity for other players; that's nothing to do with Kidderminster, who we respect.

It's just a matter of using the squad after a moment where we made an incredible effort.

There were all the nerves, adrenaline, the trip back - plenty of things which are more than a normal football game and we need to be aware of that.

Andy Thorn:

We have a good group of players, they are good footballers. I think sometimes they have not realised how good they actually are.

We have a firm belief in what they can do and what they can go on and achieve. As I've said before we will go there and we'll have a gameplan.

It's important everyone knows their jobs, everyone knows what is required. We are not going just to make the numbers up.

Roker Report Predicts

While many may overlook tomorrow's FA Cup clash against Kidderminter Harriers, either swept away with bliss following Wednesday's victory in the Capital One Cup or having already turned their focus back to the bread and butter that is the Premier League and Sunderland's bid for survival, it is actually a very interesting little tie.

Of course Gus Poyet will use the opportunity to shuffle his pack and is widely expected to do so fairly drastically however seeing how well his squad have responded to a positive cup run I doubt that his approach will change too much, if at all.

In the run up to the game I was quite interested in seeing Joe Lolley in action for Kidderminster, who was garnering quite a reputation for himself in the Conference, however he has since left the club for Huddersfield.

Pundits will no doubt be hoping for a "David vs Goliath" story to report upon however I would expect a similar contest to that in the last round against Carlisle and Sunderland should proceed with a professional job over the Conference side, hopefully with a few goals too.

3-1 to the home side.

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