SHREWSBURY have been handed a defensive double boost for their Valley Parade trip.

Sam Ricketts was expecting to miss three of the starting line-up from the first clash with City because of international call-ups with Grenada.

But the Caribbean country allowed Aaron Pierre and Omar Beckles to return early after qualifying for the Gold Cup.

The Shrewsbury duo both featured in a goalless draw at St Kitts and Nevis, which was enough to secure Grenada’s qualification for the finals in USA in 2021.

With top spot in their group guaranteed, the Spice Boys agreed to release Beckles and Pierre from the squad for the final game against Belize.

It means that both are potentially available for the City re-match providing they returned home unscathed.

Ricketts is likely to leave it late before making a call on their fitness. But midfielder Oliver Norburn, also called up for Grenada through his grandfather’s heritage, was pulled out because of illness.

Josh Laurent, who scored Shrewsbury’s equaliser in the first game against City, is confident they can put it right second time around at Valley Parade.

He said: “A replay is not ideal, another Tuesday game. We had a lot last year and it takes it out of the body but we want to go on another good cup run.”

It was the midfielder's third FA Cup goal for Shrewsbury following strikes against Stoke and Wolves last season as they reached the fourth round.

Laurent added: "I don't know what it is about the FA Cup. My body just seems to work well with it.

"We said at half-time that whenever we move the ball quickly they couldn't live with us and that's where the goal came from."

Former Huddersfield midfielder Dean Whitehead will make his first appearance in the Shrewsbury dug-out.

The 37-year-old, who retired from playing last year, has joined Ricketts’ backroom staff as first-team coach.