Manager Keith Curle says places in his Carlisle United league team will be up for grabs when the Blues host Fleetwood in the Checkatrade Trophy tonight.

United face Uwe Rosler's side (Brunton Park, 7.45pm) in their third Northern Group A game in the controversial competition.

Another small crowd is likely at Carlisle's ground.

But Curle wants his players to treat the game as importantly as any other - and is looking for certain members of his squad to catch his eye ahead of Saturday's visit of Yeovil in League Two.

"It's a cup competition we want to do well in and it's an opportunity to progress," the Carlisle boss said.

"Players can also see it as an opportunity to go and play and give themselves a chance to come into my thinking for the starting XI at home against Yeovil."

Curle is likely to rotate his squad tonight with the fit-again pair of Kelvin Etuhu and John O'Sullivan being considered for roles.

More changes in defence are likely with Clint Hill again not expected to feature in the Trophy.

Fleetwood are also expected to change things with the tie coming just two days after their FA Cup victory at Chorley.

That could put the involvement tonight of first-team players such as Cumbrian ex-United midfielder Kyle Dempsey in doubt.

Curle, though, expects a strong test from the League One visitors as Carlisle eye a second home win in the space of five days.

"It's a home game against a very good team and squad," Curle said.

"You have to say that any team Uwe Rosler puts out will be very strong and competitive.

"The games we've had against them previously in the Checkatrade and also in the [Carabao Cup] have been very, very good games."

Carlisle beat Fleetwood 2-1 after extra-time in the League Cup in August, having also claimed a 4-2 victory against the same side in this competition last season.

United will receive £10,000 prize money if they win tonight, although some fans are again expected to boycott the game in protest at the continued involvement of Premier League and Championship Under-23 teams in the Trophy.

"The more you progress the more the financial rewards are there," Curle added.

"I've got to have one eye on the important thing for me which is maintaining home wins, because you never know where that can take you.

"The more people that get entertained and walk away from Brunton Park feeling that they've got value for money, the more people will return and come back.

"Every manager in every division is the same - if you keep your home fans happy, it makes your life a lot easier."