Blues Face Fine as Young XI Face Gills
Tuesday, 6th Oct 2020 18:42
Town boss Paul Lambert has named his expected very young side for this evening’s EFL Trophy tie against Gillingham with 17-year-old central defender Elkan Baggott (pictured) handed his senior debut, midfielder Liam Gibbs and Tyreece Simpson, also both 17, their full first-team debuts and six other youngsters on the bench.
David Cornell is in goal and skippers with Janoi Donacien and Corrie Ndaba the full-backs, and Baggott, who was recently at an Indonesian U19 training camp, and Luke Woolfenden the centre-halves.
In midfield, Gibbs looks set to be joined by Brett McGavin and probably Armando Dobra. Up front, Jack Lankester, making his first start since January 2019, is likely to be on one flank, Folami on the other with Simpson the central striker.
On the bench, the Blues include former Gill Tomas Holy, 19-year-old right-back Dylan Crowe, a former England U18 international, left-back Tommy Smith, 18, and summer signing from Bury Town Ross Crane, a winger or midfielder.
Striker Zak Brown, 17, the brother of Charlie Brown, who joined Chelsea from the Blues in 2016, is also among the subs along with forward Zanda Siziba, also 17, who was with the Tottenham academy before joining Town last summer, and French midfielder Alan Viral, 18.
Having selected only two qualifying outfield players, the Blues will be fined £5,000 for fielding an understrength side, unless two of tonight's starters other than Donacien and Woolfenden are in the XI at Blackpool on Saturday, which appears a very unlikely prospect.
Gillingham make nine changes from the 1-1 weekend draw at Shrewsbury with the team not as youthful as anticipated, while former Town loanees Jordan Graham and Dominic Samuel are on the bench.
Town: Cornell (c), Donacien, Baggott, Woolfenden, Ndaba, McGavin, Gibbs, Dobra, Lankester, Folami, Simpson. Subs: Holy, Crowe, Smith, Crane, Brown, Siziba, Viral.
Gillingham: Walsh, Tucker, Medley, Willock, Coyle, McKenzie, Akinde, MacDonald, Woods, Maghoma, Drysdale. Subs: Bonham. Jackson, Ogilvie, Samuel, Graham, Eccles, Oliver. Referee: Charles Breakspear (Surrey).
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