After the largely disappointing draw on Friday at Hull there are likely to be quite a few changes to the starting line up at home to Southampton today.
In goal Joel will keep his place as Maarten Stekelenberg has not yet recovered from a dead leg.
In defence expect Coleman and Baines to continue, with 2 from Williams, Mori and Holgate in the centre. I expect Phil Jagielka to miss out.
In midfield Gareth Barry should drop out after playing just a few short days ago. Who comes in to replace him will be a big indication of who may be leaving in January. If we go with 5 in the middle Tom Cleverley would be the senior player to come in, however Koeman has shown that he values the youth of Tom Davies more in recent games. Cleverley is also subject to a bid from Newcastle. Another player tipped to leave the club in January is Gerard Deulefeu, but he could feature today.
Up front Enner Valencia has failed to impress in his recent run, even though mostly deployed in wide midfield. He runs and works but the quality is clearly not there, and when that is the case I think that youth should come in and have a chance to prove themselves. Dominic Calvert-Lewin should really have scored the winner against Hull and has shown that he can also do the hard running behind Lukaky too.
The team I would like to see today:
Holgate, Williams, Mori
Coleman, Barkley,Guaye, Davies, Baines
Calvert-Lewin (deeper), Lukaku
Subs: Hewlet, Barkley, Jagielka, Barry, Lennon/Mirallas, Valencia, Deulefeu
The team I expect to see:
Coleman, Williams, Mori, Baines
Deulefeu, Davies, Guaye, Valencia
Subs: Hewlet, Jagielka, Mirallas, Calvert-Lewin, Barry, Cleverley, Holgate
Southampton are without Charlie Austin and Virgil van Dijk through injury and suspension, however Fonte, Bertrand and Redmond come back in.
Hopes & Fears
The season is quickly fading into meaninglessness, leaving only the FA Cup to aim for. Yes this is a transition year but we are also heading into a period where we should be looking to pick up a good number of points.
I have been talking to Blue friends about this recently but the Europa League is a catch-22 situation. It could help us attract/keep hold of better players this summer, however it will become a hinderance next year, in the year we could really be pushing for something special, be that cups, Champions League or more. What would be your thoughts on this Blues? Would you rather finish 6th with Europa or 7th without?