Michele Fornasier: Injury ruled him out of the league semi-final but he has been a regular in defence and has become an accomplished centre-back. The Italian scored a last-minute winner away to Liverpool but most of his work comes at the other end of the field.
Liam Grimshaw: An ever-present in the Under-18s, he has been promoted to Joyce’s squad recently and is a contender for a substitute’s role on Monday night. Essentially a versatile midfielder but he has excelled at the heart of the defence for Paul McGuinness’ team this season.
Reece James: Brother of former United midfielder Matty, he has slotted into the side seamlessly and produced a string of decent performances at left-back. After being released by Preston, his patience and perseverance has been rewarded in style.
Michael Keane: Although he was right-back in the successful FA Youth Cup team in 2011, the England Under-21 international has matured into a superb centre-half. Outstanding for Leicester during a successful loan stint, he overcame his play-off heartache with the Foxes by helping the Reds beat Liverpool in the Under-21 semi-final.
Luke McCullough: Imposing centre-back who captained last year’s youth team but has had to bide his time for outings at this level. After returning from a loan at Cheltenham, the Northern Ireland Under-21 defender has been in and around the squad.
Tom Thorpe: Classy captain who has featured in all 32 games this season. The defender, who has also