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Saints stars get chance to force their way into Poch's plans
Cork has been a high profile casualty of Saints’ summer spending as the man who came third in last year’s player of the season vote has found himself warming the bench for the opening two Premier League fixtures with £12m Victor Wanyama taking his place.
It has been a frustrating time for Cork but he is expected to finally get a chance to shine again as Saints start their Capital One Cup campaign at Barnsley tonight.
With the game coming sandwiched between Premier League fixtures against Sunderland and Norwich, Pochettino is set to shake up his line-up.
The Saints boss will not risk injuries to the players who have started the campaign with a win and a draw, and instead will give his fringe stars the chance to stake their claim for a first team place.
Kelvin Davis is likely to get a run in goal in place of Artur Boruc while it will be all change in defence.
Nathaniel Clyne might well get some match time as he tries to regain full fitness while the centre half pairing is likely to change from Jose Fonte and Dejan Lovren, who have started the season together, to Maya Yoshida and Jos Hooiveld.
With Luke Shaw forced off at half time in the Sunderland game with a knock Danny Fox is set to deputise at left back.
Morgan Schneiderlin also came off at the break in the 1-1 draw with the Black Cats at St Mary’s carrying an injury and so Cork is an obvious replacement.
There has been speculation that Dani Osvaldo could make a first start for the club after his second half cameo against Sunderland but it is more likely he will continue to settle into his new surroundings back at home.
The strength of Pochettino’s squad is underlined by the fact he can field a team to compete with Championship side Barnsley and still have the likes of Dean Hammond, Billy Sharp and Lee Barnard in reserve.
Though Saints are keen on a cup run, competing for a European place via the Premier League remains very much their priority, and that is expected to clearly reflect in Pochettino’s selections.
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