Mauricio Pochettino is set to ring the changes for tonight’s Capital One Cup tie at Sunderland.

A glamour quarter-final tie at home to Chelsea awaits the winner of the game at the Stadium of Light, but Saints’ priority very much remains the league.

That means that Pochettino will once again go safety first with his regular Premier League starting line-up and give many of his fringe players a chance to shine.

With a long away trip sandwiched between important league matches against Stoke and Hull, it is expected that Pochettino will not even take many of the first team regulars with him to the north east.

Instead it will be left to some experienced heads that have had to patiently await their turn with the side doing so well at present, as well as a sprinkling of academy starlets.

Pochettino, who changed his entire starting XI for the last round win against Bristol City, explained: “I am going to be using the players I have been using for the Capital One Cup.

“There could be rotations and players coming in and players coming out.

“I will definitely use the team that I think has the best chance of winning at Sunderland.”

That means a likely recall for goalkeeper Kelvin Davis, hoping to stake his claim after a tough weekend for Artur Boruc.

The back four will probably consist of Calum Chambers, Maya Yoshida, Jos Hooiveld and Danny Fox.

All of those players have been itching to get a chance but haven’t had too many opportunities with the first choice defence having only leaked four goals in ten Premier League games.

Yoshida and Hooiveld – who made 57 Premier League appearances between them last season – haven’t been called on at all in the league so far.

Fox has been restricted to two starts while Chambers started the first three games in the injury-enforced absence of Nathaniel Clyne.

Another virtually forgotten man, Jack Cork, is also set for a run out.

One of the stars of last season, Cork has had to play second fiddle to £12m summer signing Victor Wanyama.

Steven Davis returned from injury to take a place amongst the subs at Stoke and could get a game under his belt.

The Northern Ireland captain scored twice against Barnsley in Saints’ first Capital One Cup tie of the campaign.

Other well known faces that could play include Gaston Ramirez and Tadanari Lee.

Ramirez has scored in both Capital One Cup ties this season, while Lee was an unused sub at Stoke and needs game time to prove he can rival the likes of Rickie Lambert and Dani Osvaldo.

Guly Do Prado is out injured while Jay Rodriguez could feature after his equaliser at Stoke.

Pochettino has also used the competition as a chance to blood youngsters and is likely to name a number of them in his squad.

He gave three teens – Harrison Reed, Omar Rowe and Jake Sinclair – their competitive debuts at Barnsley in August.

In addition, 20-year-old midfielder Lloyd Isgrove was handed his first competitive start for the club.

Reed and Rowe appeared off the bench again against Bristol City, while youngsters Matt Targett and Jason McCarthy were unused subs.