Thursday, 7 January 2016

Expect some changes for AFCB in the cup

While it would be great if AFCB could play its first team in the match at St Andrews, the sad truth is that at this stage of the competition most managers will not put out their strongest sides. The FA Cup is a tournament that the club would love to do well in and the rewards of making it to the final rounds are clearly fabulous both for the players and the fans, but the competition is going to see Premier League managers protect their best players with the demands of the top league taking priority.
There is a chance for some game time for
many players that have been on the sidelines.
For AFCB that could still mean that one or two of his fist 11 are played to keep some continuity but I don't expect the starting 11 who turned out against Leicester to be highly represented at Birmingham. Adam Federici is a certain starter you'd think unless he is injured in midweek training and in front of him it is possible that Tommy Elphick could come back in to captain the side, especially with Simon Francis carrying out his one match suspension. My preference would be to see Baily Cargill get some minutes as well, but Sylvain Distin is perhaps more likely to partner Elphick at the back.

In midfield we could also see several changes with Lee Tomlin and perhaps Shaun MacDonald given rare starts. Eddie is likely to want to play a few of those who have been on the edge of the team, but if there is interest coming in for the likes of Yann Kermorgant that could also affect team selection. Yann also played well in midweek. Tokelo Rantie would of course return to the scene of one of his best performances for the Cherries and that could encourage the manager to play him.

Whether Juan Iturbe gets his work permit in time for this game is not known but I would not expect him to start, even if he does get clearance. Eddie would want to bring him in gradually and a heated cup tie might not be the best debut for him unless he could come on in the second half when some of the heat has already been taken out of the game.

It would be good to see some of the Development players that almost got to feature in the League Cup as well. Perhaps Jordan Lee or Matt Butcher could be included among the subs along with Jordan Green who travelled with the team to Chelsea a few weeks ago.

If you fancy predicting the score send your predictions in via twitter to @PeterBell19 and we'll have another go to give away the AFCB 2016 diary to someone who gets the score right. Send them in before 6pm on Friday for a chance to win. You must also follow me on Twitter. Best of luck!

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