It’ll be interesting to see how we approach this one.
It’s a great test to see where we are as a team at present, and with no midweek game either side I think we’ll go pretty much full strength at Craven Cottage today.
I hope so – I’d love to progress in the cup and think we’ve got a decent chance of doing so, Luke O’Nien’s still suspended and Corry Evans is ruled out for the season, but with a few players back in training plus this week’s new arrivals, Tony Mowbray’s got a decent deck to choose from.
I don’t expect we’ll see any of the new lads in from the start, but I reckon we may well see some new faces from the bench.
Goalkeeper: Anthony Patterson
Another clean sheet for Patto last week, and although Alex Bass played in the Third Round I think we’ll go with Patterson for today’s game.
Defenders: Trai Hume, Dan Ballard, Danny Batth, Aji Alese
Aje Alese made a welcome return to action last week, and although he departed the game early with cramp, he should retain his place today.
In the centre of defence, Ballard and Batth are as good as it gets in the Championship as far as I’m concerned, and it’ll be good to see them tested against a Premier League attack.
At right back, Trai Hume has made that position his own – he was outstanding again last weekend.
Midfield: Edouard Michut, Dan Neil
Corry Evans’s injury is a massive blow for us, but it presents Michut with a superb opportunity, which hopefully, he’ll grasp with both hands.
He did really well coming into the Boro game, and I’d just like to see him get on the ball a bit more – he drifts in and out of games, and I’d love to see him impose himself more.
I think that’ll come in time.
Alongside him, Dan Neil will take up that more defensive role, which I think really suits him. He’s been superb recently.
Attacking midfield: Patrick Roberts, Amad, Jack Clarke
Patrick Roberts returns to one of his former clubs today, and he’ll be looking to put in a good display.
Alongside him will be Amad, who’ll hopefully just be doing Amad things, and Jack Clark will probably keep his place.
Clarke got some criticism last week, which was a bit undeserved in my view.
Yes, his final ball’s not always spot on, but he carries the ball really well and is a constant threat.
Striker: Ross Stewart
Rossco didn’t have his shooting boots on last weekend, and got lucky with the penalty – but he still had a superb game.
He was a constant menace for Boro, and it’ll be intriguing to see him up against a Premier League defence.