Fringe Baggies to face City

First-team coach Michael Appleton has laid down the gauntlet to the

players currently not in favour with head coach Roberto Di Matteo

in the third-round Hawthorns encounter. The Baggies altered their

whole starting XI for the 2-0 win at Leyton Orient in the previous

round with top-flight survival their main priority this season

after promotion. Appleton does not anticipate so many changes

against City but still expects Di Matteo to make full use of his

first-team squad Many of the side which overpowered Birmingham 3-1

at the weekend are expected to be rested or named amongst the

substitutes. But former Albion defender Appleton said: “It’s

another opportunity for some of the lads that played at Leyton

Orient to stake a claim. “I think you can obviously expect some

changes against Manchester City. “I don’t think there will be as

many as there were against Orient. “But it’s an opportunity for the

head coach to use his squad. “I think we have a few more bodies in

the squad than we did last season and the season before. “There are

also a couple of lads bruised and battered from the weekend

because, with it being a derby, there was a bit more in it than

some of the other games.” The likes of Steven Reid, Gianni

Zuiverloon, Giles Barnes and Roman Bednar will come into the

equation to face Roberto Mancini’s side. Left-back Nicky Shorey is

likely to be one of the few survivors from the Birmingham win as

Marek Cech is still injured and Joe Mattock is not ready to return

although he is back in training. Appleton said: “The problem with

Joe at the minute is that he’s not had a full day’s training with

the lads. I think Wednesday will be too soon for him.” Di Matteo

may also give a run-out to midfielder Graham Dorrans who missed the

draw with Tottenham because of a family bereavement and only

returned as a substitute against Birmingham. Dorrans has struggled

to recapture the form of last season which saw him emerge as a

summer target for West Ham before he signed a new long-term deal

with Albion.