Newcastle will face a tough test to progress in the Carabao Cup tonight, with Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers confirming he will name a strong lineup at St James’ Park.
Steve Bruce confirmed he would prioritise the cup competitions when he was appointed as Newcastle manager, and ideally, he would like to play close to his strongest XI in the game.
But injuries to key players, along with the heroic exploits of the team in sweltering conditions on Sunday, mean he is inevitably forced to make a few changes.
If Bruce had hoped the visitors would do similar, he looks set to be disappointed with news from the Midlands that Rodgers has refused to make “wholesale changes”.
He told Leicestershire Live: “We’ll have a strong side. I’ll make some changes but there won’t be wholesale changes.
“Part of our talk in pre-season and one of our objectives was to try to have a cup run.
“We want to put out a team that’s there to win. We’ve got a good squad of players, but the team’s in good momentum and I won’t be making too many changes.”
A tough game just got tougher
Leicester were probably the strongest team they could have been drawn against, and it was always likely to be a tough game.
But with the Foxes expected to play most of their league team, and Newcastle struggling with their first-team regulars, it seems to have just become even tougher.
It remains to be seen what lineup Bruce puts out, but if he makes too many changes, and they go on to lose, he is likely to find himself back in the firing line, after a good few days since the Tottenham game.
But there are mitigating circumstances that need to be taken into consideration, and sitting second bottom of the table – even at this early stage of the season – we will desperately need some of our bigger players fit for the Watford game on Saturday.