We’re out of Europe and we’re taking a load of kids so, like Everton, I’ll take this one easy. I’ll write a few words – mostly positive – on the game and then preview the team I’d throw out at the end.
Anyway, it’s an opportunity to blood some kids and to get some out-of-favour players some time on the pitch. Sandro Ramírez and Davy Klaassen will see the pitch and hopefully they can perform well enough to merit some more game time over a very busy period in December. Sandro had just picked up his first competitive goal for the Blues before being dropped later in the week and Klaassen, like Gylfi Sigurdsson before him, has shown tremendous work-rate but has failed to let his quality shine through in what has been a very tough start.
Joel Robles will get some game time along with hopefully some young defenders, such as Morgan Feeney who should get a full 90 minutes. It is a chance to give some youngsters minutes, yes, but we should also be aiming to win the game, obviously, so more experienced players like Ademola Lookman, Nikola Vlašić and Phil Jagielka should start.
I think we all know that our main focus has to be the trip across the park at the weekend however, so we cannot exhaust the likes of Wayne Rooney, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Mason Holgate,( who is just back after injury) Ashley Williams or Idrissa Gueye.
Apollon showed us just how dangerous they are from set-pieces, so a young defence may struggle to cope but let’s be honest, none of us actually care what the result will be on Thursday. We just want to see Klaassen get some assists and Sandro bag a few goals. Speaking for myself, there.
Beni Baningime should play as almost the most senior member of the midfield this season with James McCarthy returning from injury. Klaassen occupies Sigurdsson’s role.
So, with that, here’s my team
Robles — Kenny, Feeney, Jagielka, Foulds (if he can play) — Baningime, Klaassen, McCarthy — Lookman, Vlašić, Sandro.