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West Brom vs Liverpool


Rory Fitzgerald

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It will be interesting to see how West Brom will set up in this game given Steve Clarke's insight into our team/defenders. He could go 4-2-3-1 or be more bullish with a 4-4-2 if he feels he can get more. Players in bold are those that I think will start in either system. If they sacrifice a midfielder for a striker then I think Dorrans drops out for Shane Long. Gera is out injured who has 4 goals for them and its unclear what is happening with Odemwinge who has 5 goals for them. Numbers in brackets are goals scored this season in all competitions.

 

Foster

 

Jones McAuley(1) Olsson Ridgewell

 

Mulumbu*(1) Yacob

 

Brunt(2) Morrison(3) Dorrans

 

Lukaku (9)

 

*Back from the ACN and should be available for Monday nights game

 

 

Traditionally we've a great record against WBA at Anfield having won 5 of the 6 home games against them in the Premiership era without them scoring. That changed last season when they beat us 1-0 with Johnson losing the ball and Odemwinge scoring with about 10mins to go. It was a typical game cause we battered them with shots on goal and hit the post a few times with Kuyt and Henderson but they managed to sneak a winner.

 

 

 

Momentum / Form

 

 

West Brom are 9th in the league and havent been out of the top 10 in the league this season. However, its been a half-a-season of 2 halves.

 

18-Aug-12 until 29-Nov-12

 

WBA - Played 14 - Pts 26 - 4th in the league

LFC - Played 14 - Pts 16 - 12th in the league

 

30-Nov-12 until now

WBA - Played 11 - Pts 8 and would be 18th based on those 11 games.

LFC - Played 11 - Pts 20 and would be 5th based on those 11 games - Everton, Arsenal, Chelsea have picked up 20pts in the same period, City 21 and Spurs 22.

 

They've kept 2 clean sheets in last 18 games but haven't kept a clean sheet away from home this season. In the last 11 games, there were 5 in which they failed to score. The most they conceded in a single game is 3 goals and there were 3 occassions on which that happened. However, we have been fairly prolific in the last 14 games and 2 top scorers in the league in that period with 26 goals. just 1 behind Chelsea and Utd who both have scored 27.

 

 

 

We are entering into a period of (mini) squad management with 4 games in 10 days. However, after the 2nd leg game against Zenit, we dont have a game that weekend so we have a 9 day break from Feb 21st until March 2nd.

 

Monday: WBA home

Thursday: Zenit away

Sunday: Swansea home

Thursday: Zenit home

 

The non-internationals will have had an 8 day break from City until WBA next week. I would send our best players away to Zenit with the exception of Gerrard. After the mini-run of games there is ample time for a break, even abroad, to recharge after the 4 games but I wouldn't be keen on sacrificing the only cup competition we are left in.

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I would play our strongest line up in the 3 home games, send a weaker team to St Petersburg with a good tactical plan. Perhaps, considering the Internationals, you might rest one or two of the strongest XI for this one, and send them to Zenit, but only those you know will recover 100% for Swansea.

 

reina

johnson-carra-agger-enrique

gerrrard-lucas

Borini-Henderson-Downing

Suarez

 

and for Zenit

 

reina

Wisdom-Skrtle-Coates-Downing

Allen-Henderson

Coutinho-Shelvey-Sterling

Sturridge

 

Sturridge then replaces Borini, and possibly Coutinho replaces Downing, from the WBA line up for the Swansea game.

 

Might be tempted to switch Lucas/Allen and Sturridge/Suarez.

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I would play our strongest line up in the 3 home games, send a weaker team to St Petersburg with a good tactical plan. Perhaps, considering the Internationals, you might rest one or two of the strongest XI for this one, and send them to Zenit, but only those you know will recover 100% for Swansea.

 

reina

johnson-carra-agger-enrique

gerrrard-lucas

Borini-Henderson-Downing

Suarez

 

and for Zenit

 

reina

Wisdom-Skrtle-Coates-Downing

Allen-Henderson

Coutinho-Shelvey-Sterling

Sturridge

 

Sturridge then replaces Borini, and possibly Coutinho replaces Downing, from the WBA line up for the Swansea game.

 

Might be tempted to switch Lucas/Allen and Sturridge/Suarez.

 

You play that team at Zenit and we're going out of the competition.

 

You have to play Sturridge in the West Brom game, and I'd be tempted to bring Skrtel back too, especially if Lukaku plays - Skrtel has had his kick up the a***. Now he has to prove he can play well and I think he will.

 

Against Zenit - I'd rest Johnson, sure and bring Carra back in for Skrtel, but Enrique and Agger should still play. Leave Henderson out - play Lucas. And Suarez instead of Shelvey.

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You play that team at Zenit and we're going out of the competition.

 

Against Zenit - I'd rest Johnson, sure and bring Carra back in for Skrtel, but Enrique and Agger should still play. Leave Henderson out - play Lucas. And Suarez instead of Shelvey.

 

Yep, I agree, we need a strong team out there. They'll go with Hulk cutting in from the right with Anyukov getting forward from right back. For that reason I would go with Johnson at LB to defend with his right foot against Hulk cutting in on his right and Enrique ahead of him to provide support.

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Against Zenit - I'd rest Johnson, sure and bring Carra back in for Skrtel, but Enrique and Agger should still play. Leave Henderson out - play Lucas. And Suarez instead of Shelvey.

 

Henderson's the last person I'd be leaving out, on account of the fact he seems capable of running forever. Johnson, Carra, Gerrard, Agger, Enrique, Lucas all need resting for one of those and it's better Zenit so they are fresh for the Swansea game. As much of a machine as Suarez is, I'd want him being protected there somewhere too. We don't want too many people playing Thursday night in Russia, then Sunday afternoon back here.

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I'd start Coutinho for sixty. Start Sturridge. Look to get Suarez off early though as I'd start him in Zenit. Downing to start in Zenit as well.

 

Given how well drilled we have looked recently it is a risk I think to start a flair player who will only have had a week training with us

There is an argument, of course, that we are playing West Brom at home, but scoring goals hasn't really been our problem recently

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Given how well drilled we have looked recently it is a risk I think to start a flair player who will only have had a week training with us

There is an argument, of course, that we are playing West Brom at home, but scoring goals hasn't really been our problem recently

Thinking as much about legs over all the games coming up. I'd play Downing in the three that followed.

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