Tony Mowbray gave a strong insight into his thinking ahead of the season’s opener with his selection against Real Mallorca – and it’s likely the players who didn’t start on Saturday will get a run out tonight.
Goalkeeper: Matthew Young
There’s no point taking any risks with Patterson tonight, so Matthew Young should line up in goal again, unless fellow youngster Adam Richardson’s fit again.
Defenders: Lynden Gooch, Nectar Triantis, Danny Batth, Niall Huggins
I was surprised Batth didn’t start alongside Ballard on Saturday, and we’ll soon see how much we can read into that. Gooch, Triantis and Huggins will likely start tonight – it was good to see Huggins back in action, and he could well provide stiff competition in both fullback positions.
Midfield: Chris Rigg, Alex Pritchard
With Neil, Ekwah, Bellingham and O’Nien all playing on Saturday, we’re a little light in the centre of midfield. It’s almost certain Rigg will start, and Mowbray could well opt for the experience of Pritchard to partner him in a deeper-than-usual role.
Attacking midfield: Issac Lihadji, Abdoullah Ba, Jewison Bennette
These three have been in good form in pre-season, and while it’ll be difficult to force their way past Clarke and Roberts, there is a third place in attack possibly up for grabs. It’ll be good for them to get a game into their legs tonight, and if they don’t make Sunday’s starting XI it’s a stick-on they’ll line up against Crewe in the league cup.
Striker: Harry Gardiner
Gardiner’s been in goalscoring form for the under-21s in pre-season, and I don’t see what we have to lose by giving either him or Max Thompson a run out up front, particularly in light of Mayenda’s injury.