Josh Tymon, Harry Souttar and Nathan Collins are on standby to stake their claims for a first team role at Stoke City in this week’s trip to Wolves.
Stoke are at Molineux on Thursday evening (7pm) for a Carabao Cup second round tie, with the winners to take on either Gillingham or Coventry at home next week.
Michael O’Neill is expected to make substantial changes from the side which drew 0-0 with Millwall in the Championship last Saturday, with a league game coming up against Bristol City at home next Sunday.
Jacob Brown is expected to make a first start while Jack Butland, Jordan Thompson, Tashan Oakley-Boothe, Tom Ince and James McClean could also be handed minutes as O’Neill keeps tabs on a huge squad.
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The manager said: “Those players who are on the periphery can come in and play.
“They will all regard themselves as first team players and it will be an opportunity for the young players too, possibly, the likes of Nathan Collins, Harry Souttar, for example, and Jacob might be an option to play from the start.
“The team will be different. I wouldn’t say it would be weaker.”
Stoke’s last three Carabao Cup ties have gone to penalties – beating Leeds and Blackpool but losing to Crawley Town.