I know I say it every week but tomorrow we have another ‘must win’ game. I predict that the team will attack relentlessly in the opening 30 minutes or so which will lead to an early two goal lead. Complacency could then set in allowing Boro to score once and then come close to equalising before the break. The second half will offer more scares but a sucker punch third goal from Antonio followed by the ‘Hammer Haka’ will see us over the line with a 3:1 victory. Too optimistic given our predicament?
Predicted team. (4-1-3-2)
Adrian, Byram, Ogbonna, Oxford, Arbeloa, Obiang, Payet, Lanzini, Antonio, Fletcher, Zaza
Which is based on A: Available options and B: Slaven’s recent statement that players will only be picked on performances and training.
I think we need to sing several salvos of ‘There’s only one Stuart Downing’ as singing for Tevez when he’d gone to Man Utd seemed to unsettle him (at least for the first game against us). Not sure the players have got to grips with the fact that the pitch at the London Stadium is larger than at Upton Park, so every player has to cover more area, do more running and tracking back than they had to before. While it leaves more space for our players to do their thing, it also leaves lots of room for the opposition to bypass us. Hopefully the players have been working on this in training. I don’t think we can afford to have both Payet and Lanzini in the team at the same time as neither are much good at closing down or tackling – and if you add Zaza and Antonio to that, it means we’ve got a defensive chasm. Still, for the first 35 minutes against Southampton I thought we were going to win the game easily. The rest is history. I’d be happy with a 1-0, but hope for a 2-0 but most importantly, a clean sheet.
You make a good point about the pitch size, it is 10% larger now. However its the same size as the Emirates and we did well the last time we played there so not so sure its a big factor.
A clean sheet would be lovely wouldn’t it? I just don’t see one coming anytime soon (in the premier league)
I predict 2:1
I think the team will be.
Randolph, Arbeloa, Reid, Ogbonna, Byram, Noble, Obiang, Kouyate, Payet, Antonio, Zaza
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