Question of the Week
What should happen to the EFL Trophy next season?
By: Rob Sedgwick
Grimsby travel to Huddersfield on Tuesday night in a crucial game for the two sides, both of whom are fighting to avoid relegation to the 2nd division come May. After Saturday's abject performance in a 2-0 home defeat by Barnsley, Grimsby manager Lennie Lawrence has vowed to ring in the changes.
Chinese international defender Zhang Enhua makes way in central defence for Scot Peter Handyside to make his first start since January. The former Scottish under 21 defender has not been named in the starting eleven for a league game this year, with just two starts in the FA Cup ties against Wycombe in 2001 to his name since the the beginning of January.
Lawrence told the Evening Telegraph "Peter will start, that's a definite. If I don't give him his opportunity I'll lose him. Exactly how I'm going to do it I don't know, but he'll start."
Handyside is expected to be joined by captain Paul Groves in central defence, with John McDermott and Tony Gallimore playing either side of the pair as the two full backs in a four man defence.
Town are down to the bare bones up front with Michael Jeffrey out with flu, and Jonathan Rowan rated doubtful, so Daryl Clare has been recalled to the squad. The Jersey-born striker has been out of contention all season, and has not featured in a game for the Mariners since November last year, since when the 22 year old front man has been on loan at Northampton and Cheltenham. Clare had to leave the Gloucestershire club after suffering a groin strain in a fixture against Hull City, an injury from which the Channel Islander has just recovered.
With joint leading scorer Bradley Allen only just having returned from a serious ankle injury, and Steve Livingstone out for two months, Lawrence may literally have no choice but to play one up front with Kevin Donovan occupying "the hole" position behind a lone striker (either Clare, Allen, or Rowan).
Wayne Burnett and Menno Willems are expected to start in central midfield, with Stacy Coldicott missing out through a one match suspension. Alan Pouton is recalled to the squad on the right hand side of midfield, a position either he or Danny Butterfield will assume, with ever-present Leicester City midfielder Stuart Campbell (pictured) on the left.
Huddersfield have no fresh injuries going into the game. The Terriers won their last match 2-0 against Norwich on Saturday to record three vital points in their fight against relegation.
The only expected change by the West Yorkshire outfit is a return for midfielder Simon Baldry, who came on as a second half substitute in Saturday's victory against the Canaries.
Key men for the Lou Macari's side are strikers Delroy Facey and Kevin Gallen, the creative ex-Tranmere midfielder Kenny Irons (above) and goalkeeper Nico Vaesen (right).
Grimsby Town: (from) Coyne, McDermott, Gallimore, Handyside, Groves, Pouton, Burnett, Willems, Campbell, Donovan, Clare, Allen, Rowan, Butterfield, Zhang Enhua, Croudson
Huddersfield: (from) Vaesen, Heary, Lucketti, Dyson, Jenkins, Thornley, Baldry, Irons, Armstrong, Facey, Gallen, Gorre, Smith, Margetson, Moses, Gray
The pair last met in October at Blundell Park when the Mariners won 1-0. The match was notable as it was David Nielsen's first outing as a Grimsby player. The Dane came on as a second half substitute and his first two touches in a black and white shirt almost led to goals. The Blundell Park game was to be Steve Bruce's last as Huddersfield manager - not for first time losing to the Mariners was the final straw for the opposing team's board, and the former Man Utd defender was dismissed shortly after the defeat.
Huddersfield occupy 27th position on the Opposition Ladder. Over the years the Mariners have won 29, drawn 20, and lost 22 games in 79 fixtures against the Terriers.
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