Team News: Southampton
By Kevin Affleck
Javi Gracia will have an increased number of attacking options to choose from tomorrow night after Roberto Pereyra and Adalberto Peñaranda were declared fit to face Southampton.
Pereyra has missed the last two matches with the problem he picked up in the FA Cup semi-final win over Wolverhampton Wanderers while Peñaranda has been unavailable for selection for several weeks. Both the South Americans joined in full training today and they are in the mix to feature against the Saints.
“Both are training, both are available,” said Gracia. “One has made many more minutes than the other and he maybe needs more time to be in the best condition. Peñaranda has been out of the time for a long time, but the best news is that they are available.”
At the very least, the inclusion of one of them will allow Gracia to give his bench a more attacking look. On Saturday, due to injuries, he had to name a goalkeeper, four defenders and a defensive midfielder among his seven substitutes.
The match-day 18 nearly picks itself right now as four players are injured and another, Troy Deeney, is suspended.
"We have out of the team José Holebas, Tom Cleverley, Domingos Quina and Sebastian Prödl,” said Gracia. “Prödl has a little problem in his knee. He trained yesterday but he didn’t today and we’ll see. It is nothing serious, but in this moment he is not available.
“Tom will be ready to train with the team in three or four days. I’m optimistic José will be ready to train with the team in one or two days. We’ll see.”
Gracia likes to use the full depth of his squad in hectic weeks such as this, but he isn’t afforded that luxury on Tuesday night. He could possibly make a change at centre-half, at right-back and bring Pereyra in for Ken Sema, but it will largely be the side which recorded a workmanlike win at Huddersfield on Saturday.
“I would like more time,” said Gracia. “If we have to be ready in three days, we will be ready and enjoy the moment with the same players. I could make some changes but if we have to do it with the same players, we will do it.”