We’re writing this some two days before the game so excuse any late developments that we haven’t picked up. There is early news to report on however and it’s mixed ahead of this fixture against our old player Gus Poyet and a club in the relegation zone.
“Jan and Roberto are nowhere near ready, unfortunately,” said Tim Sherwood.
“The good news is that Ade is back in training and up for selection and Vlad played in the Under-21 game against Arsenal at the Lane, came through that unscathed, so he will be up for selection as well.”
Erik Lamela and Kyle Walker are confirmed absentees although there was no update on Etienne Capoue.
The back five essentially picks itself with Sherwood’s only decision coming on the right side of central defence where he has to choose between Dawson and Kaboul. In midfield, hopefully Sandro won’t be left on the bench again but don’t bet your house on it. Meanwhile, fellow Brazilian Paulinho is unlikely to feature after his comments in midweek.
4-4-2 would be the ideal option against the side second from bottom but only if we had any strikers. Sherwood could partner Adebayor and Kane but that would leave nothing on the bench so we suspect it’s Ade on his own up front.
Here’s how we’d like it to start – it seems unlikely particularly as there’s no Bentaleb – but what’s your view?