The Carling Cup may be low on West Bromwich Albion’s list of priorities but you will not find Roberto Di Matteo writing it off just yet.
The Baggies travel to Gigg Lane for their first round fixture tonight, without five of their first-teamers due to this week’s scheduling of international fixtures.
Robert Koren (Slovenia), Marek Cech (Slovakia), Youssouf Mulumbu (DR Congo), Abou Meite (Ivory Coast) and Chris Brunt (Northern Ireland) are all unavailable but Di Matteo expects to field a strong side nevertheless.
Joe Mattock and Reuben Reid are expected to make their debuts, with Di Matteo saying: “We are missing five players so there will be changes but we don’t want to change the whole team.
“I want to get to the next round of the Cup.
“It’s a good cup and if you can get through to the latter stages of cup it can get exciting.
“Every year you get teams from lower leagues who have good cup runs. It generates a good atmosphere.
“I will pick the best team that I can.”