Matchups on paper don’t come much easier than a home cup tie against the club who finished just about as low as you can in the top four professional divisions in the English Football Pyramid without getting relegated to non-league football.
So in theory this League Cup second(!) round match against AFC Wimbledon on Wednesday night could be a fantastic opportunity for Mauricio Pochettino to rotate his entire squad and get some minutes for those who have yet to play this season, or those who may be looking to make their debuts from the Academy.
Complicating any such intentions are our already extensive injury-list (as many as ten) and the U23s have their own important cup game the night before, in the EFL Trophy against MK Dons.
Still, even if the matchday squad might end up looking quite familiar, the starting lineup might not — especially if Armando Broja, Roméo Lavia, Benoît Badiashile and Mykhailo Mudryk were to be declared match-fit. (Not sure how likely that may be for any of them.) We’ve also added Deivid Washington recently, and while the young Santos striker is unlikely to stay with us for the season, I’m pretty sure he would be eligible for this game as an ERC exception to the current GBE (i.e. work permit) rules. (Essentially, we can register up to four players this season who do not quality for a work permit.)