Newcastle United host Leicester City on Wednesday night in the second round of the Carabao Cup.
Manager Steve Bruce may have been tempted into wholesale changes in the cup competition and it looks like he may be forced into that regardless.
The Magpies have six senior players that are doubtful against Leicester (Chronicle) with Jamaal Lascelles, Miguel Almiron, Allan Saint-Maximin, Christian Atsu, Joelinton and Fabian Schar all potentially absent.
It leaves Bruce short on numbers and it’s important that he gets a look at some fringe figures in the squad.
Newcastle defender Jetro Willems is one of the fringe players that needs to play against Leicester and it’s vital he gets minutes under his belt.
The 25-year-old left-back has made just one appearance off the bench since he joined on loan in the summer from Eintracht Frankfurt and experience of playing against Leicester would be helpful.
He is an attack-minded full-back with decent pedigree, but needs to get to grips with the pace of English football.
With Newcastle’s injuries potentially piling up, it’s crucial that fringe players are ready to replace them if called upon in the league.
Bruce could be without Saint-Maximin, Atsu and Alimron against Leicester, which decimates their options out wide and fans should pray they are back in time for the weekend against Watford in the league.
The Magpies could have the option to push Matt Ritchie forward from left-back to his former position of a winger if numbers are short, with Willems slotting in at full-back.
Willems needs to be given 90 minutes against Leicester to test himself, as he may be called upon in the league XI sooner rather than later.