Rafa Benitez has talked a lot about tonight’s game because he knows he cannot start his top team and the Premier League must take precedence.
Rafa doesn’t feel the squad is yet good enough to go after three different trophies and the Premier League is the most important.
In fact, the target this season is to just survive – once again – but we think we will do a lot better than last season.
Our squad and the first team starting eleven are better than they were last year at this time.
Rafa Benitez – tricky team selection tonight
And as we see our new signings play and get match fit we should start picking up the points and be in a decent position halfway through the season in December.
That’s our hope in any case/
We got 18 points in the first 19 games last season, so hopefully, we can do better than that this time around.
Here what Rafa has said on Chronicle Live today:
“We will change the keeper.”
“You have to find the balance between your strongest eleven and players that are training really well during the week but can’t play at the weekend.”
“Plus there are players who are injured and you have to give chances to others.”.
“And there are people who came in late in the transfer window and don’t have the match fitness.”
“You have to put all these things together and after decide your eleven.” “It’s about different players getting a chance.”
“In this case the keeper who you have to change because if not they won’t get any chances, because there may not be injuries.
“Everybody has the feeling they can do well and get a chance.”
“That is the reason why players must be rotated so they can get opportunities.”
Karl Darlow is the number two goalkeeper at the moment, so we expect Karl to start with Rob Elliot on the bench tonight.
We are expecting Freddie Woodman to go out on loan for the season.
Local lads Jamie Sterry and Sean Longstaff are expected to start the game.