A key player is going to be absent tonight, according to Tony Mowbray’s press conference – someone whose absence will require a bit of a tactical reshuffle. But who is it? I don’t know, but doing a bit of minor detective work, I didn’t spot Alex Pritchard or Trai Hume in the photos from training yesterday – so it could be one or both of them. I’ll take a punt on it being Pritchard, as he’s been playing a bit deeper than he would usually do – although Hume’s absence would probably be a little more difficult to manage.
Goalkeeper: Anthony Patterson
Patterson was a little sloppy with his kicking on Friday, but pulled off a couple of good saves to protect his clean sheet.
Defenders: Trai Hume, Luke O’Nien, Dan Ballard, Niall Huggins
If Hume’s not available, we could see Seelt come in for a full debut – whether he’d play at right back as he did when he came on on Friday or we’d manoeuvre into a three at the back would be the question, but hopefully, Trai’s fit to play. Otherwise, there’s no plausible reason to change the defence.
Midfield: Dan Neil, Jobe Bellingham
If Pritchard is the man to miss out, then it’s likely we’ll see Bellingham drop in alongside Neil. Both have been excellent so far this season, and our lack of centre midfielders means they need to push through!
Attack: Patrick Roberts, Abdoullah Ba, Jack Clarke
I can understand Mowbray wanting to get Roberts back in the team, however, Ba could count himself unlucky to miss out on Friday. If it is Pritchard who’s out, I suspect Ba will come back in, probably playing centrally to allow Roberts time out wide. I don’t think Roberts is as effective centrally, and Ba is more natural there. Clarke did come off on Friday and was icing his thigh, but hopefully, he’ll be fine.
Striker: Mason Burstow
Burstow turned in his best performance against Sheff Wed, and will keep his place up front. Hopefully he’ll get a goal tonight to get him up and running!