Kazenga LuaLua did sign for Sunderland, you may have forgotten about that, and he may play some football tomorrow.
Chris Coleman confirmed that the January signing has returned to training but is not fit enough to make his first start for The Lads. A spot on the bench is all he can hope for, with the manager perhaps tempted to name an unchanged side against Villa in match we need to reverse this season's reverse fixture.
Who's spot is safe?
Defensively I thought, on the whole, we were decent against a solid Millwall side who like to get in the faces of the back line. Jake Clarke-Salter is still suspended so there isn't too much for consideration really, because nobody in their right mind would consider Billy Jones. Right? Jason Steele's vastly improved performance forces Coleman to keep faith with the so far very underwhelming summer transfer. Fair play to the lad.
Considering our lack of quality in midfield I think we can expect to see Ovie Ejaria start every game for us unless he suffers injury. I'm not saying the Liverpool loanee is a worldie, merely that he possesses a smidge of quality that George Honeyman doesn't. Ethan Robson is still a bit raw, whilst Lynden Gooch can't seem to convince any manager so far in his career.
A similar thing can be said about Lee Cattermole. This time it has nothing to do with quality, because that left Catts a few seasons ago. However, whatever you think of the fella's talents - he does add that bite into midfield which otherwise wouldn't be there. Honestly, I promise it's a good thing. Okay maybe good is the wrong word, necessary is probably more apt.
So, with that in mind, the safe list;
Who's on Tinker Row™?
A massive eight players seem safe for selection this week, meaning just three players can't be completely confident of retaining their place tomorrow;
Sorry to say it, but I also think Ashley Fletcher sleeps tonight in the knowledge he is probably playing tomorrow. Since joining in January he hasn't remotely resembled a striker, but Coleman obviously reckons he has something to add given he has started every game he has been able to. I can't see the gaffer suddenly changing his mind despite another drab performance against Millwall. He shouldn't survive the squad shuffle but I fear he will.
The same can't be said for McGeady and McManaman, both of whom I expect to be dropped tomorrow. McGeady was the better of the two, and if either survive it will be him, but I think tactical tweaks will also make him a casualty of selection.
Coleman will be desperate to get Joel Asoro back into the starting eleven. The 18 year old offers far more enthusiasm and effort from the front than the two on tinker row (made that up all by myself). I also expect Jonny Williams, fresh from an eye-catching display off the bench in our last home game against Middlesbrough, to earn the nod as Coleman goes for two strikers, negating the need for wingers.
The team (expected)
Steele, Kone, O'Shea, Browning, Matthews, Oviedo, Cattermole, Ejaria, Williams (in for McGeady), Asoro (in for McManaman), Fletcher.
Must win game yadda yadda usual rhetoric we all know what is at stake here. Cya at the SoL if you're daft enough like me to still turn up. Agree? Disagree? Let me know below or @WeAreWearside.