The experimental starting XI we’d love to see tomorrow evening

Courtesy of Graham Burrell

Tomorrow evening, in our opinion, represents a free hit for City. It’s a chance to see some of the fringe players in action, maybe try another formation ahead of the festive period.

Last season we had to go 4-3-3 after New Year in order to accommodate the squad, but this season after a few trials early doors we’ve remained very much focused on the 4-5-1 (or 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1, depending on what you think it is).

Tomorrow evening might be the second round of a cup competition, but it is one we don’t really prioritise, isn’t it? We’ve only won one of our last five Checkatrade games outright, but that was at Wembley so it was the right one to win. We’re in the next round by default, a quirk of the competition meaning we progressed without a win to our name.

It’s a great chance for some players to have a run out, but is it really something we’re focused one entirely? Would we risk John Akinde or Shay McCartan for instance?

The rules of the Checkatrade Trophy are very stringent, but in the rules we discover a solid reason for Danny starting with Green and Rhead this past weekend. he can start both tomorrow and have them as qualifying players, meaning fewer of the first team have to be involved.

Was it a master stroke by Danny? Is the game tomorrow one he’ll let slide to a degree? Or will that competitive element come out and we’ll go hell for leather for the prize money?

Whatever we do, the Stacey West has this experimental starting XI for you to consider.


  1. I don’t often disagree with your reasoning behind selection but, all I would say is that winning becomes a habit and with a win in our last outing after three recent draws I think we should stick pretty close to our strongest side. Playing twice a week is not a chore and if you speak to the players they’ll tell you that playing on a Tuesday is far better than any training session. It being a Tuesday fixture gives plenty of time to recover for the weekend. So leaving players out to save them for Saturday makes no sense to me. By all means include different players if there are injuries or if there’s a need to replace someone who’s out of form or to try a different formation, but, just to give players who may not be with us by the end of January a game, just doesn’t make sense. I grant you that the Checkatrade Trophy is not everyone’s cup of tea but, it does bring in welcome revenue and doesn’t involve many extra matches, dependent upon who we draw in the FA cup we might be pleased to have another competition to follow.

Comments are closed.