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Pre match thread


roonst83
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Very tough game coming up. They smacked us at their place last year and are always a tough opponent. On the back of what I've seen today at the sty I'd throw Davis in and replace Kodjia for Hogan if he's injured. We need to be set up more positively and play on the front foot more. What was lacking today was a plan for when we had the ball going forwards. We lacked ideas or creativity and Kodjia, Adomah and Snodgrass were too easily handled. That's why I think playing two up top helps us as Davis is a handful up top and, unlike Kodjia, can take a hoofed ball down and bring others into play. Kodjia, in my opinion, is far better playing with/behind Davis as when he's not the prime focus he can play with more freedom, can't be as easily marked out of the game and can influence our attacking play more. Not sure if Jedi is ready for a start but he should feature at some point and I'd bring Taylor back for Hutton. Need more from Houihane as he was completely lost and vacant against blues, same goes for Onomah, although with the latter I think that's largely due to the ball being hoofed over his head and him not being in his best natural position. 

We need to get something on Wednesday night to keep us in the mix. If we play like we did for the first 60 mins today then we'll get well beaten. Play like we did in the last half hour then we have a chance. 

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Preston having big problems at the back. Hopefully we can exploit that. From an article, can't be bothered with a link :)

First-choice centre-half pairing Paul Huntington and Ben Davies are ruled out, as is back-up Tommy Spurr. With Tom Clarke and Greg Cunningham both long-term absentees, options are limited in defence.

 

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Here's the link:

http://www.lep.co.uk/sport/football/preston-north-end/pne-short-at-the-back-1-8829860

It also gives information on their likely CB pairing:

'Huntington had Calum Woods as his partner in the centre of defence against Brentford – Woods getting the nod ahead of Andy Boyle.

[. . .]

'It is expected that Boyle will partner Woods against Villa in what would be his first league appearance this season'

Given this, I'd definitely start Davies, who is likely to be too much of a physical challenge for a deep squad player and a youth team prospect to handle. 

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If the reports are true that Preston will have makeshift centre backs playing, Bruce surely has to go for the jugular and play Davis and either Kodjia or Hogan up front to keep their pairing busy? If he goes negative again, and it costs us the three points, he should be publicly flogged in Chamberlain Square!

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                          Johnstone

Elmo          Chester          Terry            Taylor

Snodgrass   Whelan   Hourihane   Adomah

                      Davis        Hogan

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As Flukey Luck would have it, PNE will have a weekend defence.

No excuse not to go at them then.

Win = Bruce is still dead man walking

Draw = Sack

Lose = Sack

                         SJ

 RDL/Bree Chester Terry Taylor

                        Jedi

      Snod Hourihane Adomah

Davis Kodjia (if fit/Hogan off KD)

Subs

Steer Bree/RDL Samba Whelan Elmo Onomah + Anyone but Hutton & Thor

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26 minutes ago, Grasshopper said:

Win = Bruce is still dead man walking

Draw = Sack

You don't seriously believe that do you? 

Anyway, this is another tough game, although for different reasons. I expect he will change things a little with Davis starting to provide an outlet for the ever increasing long balls and maybe a change in midfield too after yesterday.

I said I'd take 2 points from these two games and I stand by that although I can't see us getting anything from this one.

2-0 to them.

Edited by One For The Road
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49 minutes ago, One For The Road said:

You don't seriously believe that do you?  

What I believe to be for the short & long term benefit for the club appears to be ever so slightly different to the opinions of those able to make the decisions.

I honestly hope that they are right and we get promoted this year. However, I see very little evidence in that being a possibility

Quote

Anyway, this is another tough game, although for different reasons. I expect he will change things a little with Davis starting to provide an outlet for the ever increasing long balls and maybe a change in midfield too after yesterday.  

Going by their apparent Defensive reshuffle, Davis should play with Kodjia up front too (Hogan if JK isnt fit) and bully them into submission.

Quote

I said I'd take 2 points from these two games and I stand by that although I can't see us getting anything from this one.

2-0 to them.

2pts average from the last 2 games is a minimum to avoid even more of a difference between our ppg of the season so far and the „2ppg“ needed for promotion (disclaimer - so stated)

away v PNE is a must win game then

going by our recent form 

v Wolves 0pts, v Fulham 3pts, v Sc*m 1pt

1pt v PNE would mean 3 pts down on a 2ppg target over 4games (5pts from a possible 16pts, 8pts = 2ppg)

0pts v PNE would mean 4pts down on a 2ppg target over 4games (4-16)

We cannot afford to draw or lose any game unless 1/0pts doesnt take us lower than the 2ppg

So here are the consequences of not winning this match.

———————————-

If we take the maths further

2ppg means an average of win-draw-win-draw......etc (3-1-3-1.....)

so 3 or 4 of those next „win-draw......etc“ draws would have to be wins over a 4 or 6 game period

Can we win the next 4/6 games to MAINTAIN the status quo? (including away v PNE)

Can we win the next 4/6 in a row maintaining the 2ppg till we go on another „winning run“ to catch-up? (again including away v PNE)

we‘re talking about a 10game or plus run of 2ppg+

—————————————-

Tough game or not we have to win this game before we can even set about the above task

Edited by Grasshopper
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Hourihane owes us a game.  It's been a while since he stamped his authority on one now.

Not sure about Onomah after Sunday, he's got the talent, but he doesn't apply it regularly enough. 

I think Whelan is a certainty after Sunday. 

Taylor is back?  Put him in and keep the other 3 unchanged. 

Keep Wingers the same. 

Up top, put Hogan as central striker and get Davis to hold the ball up.  

They'll put us under pressure, we'll go long and lose the midfield battle, hopefully we can nick a goal or 2 and contain them with our bad ass defence (bar Wolves!) 

So, in conclusion;

Jonstone

Elmo Chester Terry Taylor

Snod Whelan Hourihane Albert

Davis Hogan

 

If we're getting absolutely raped in midfield, take Hogan off and shove on Grealish or something. 

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2 hours ago, KJT123 said:

                          Johnstone

Elmo          Chester          Terry            Taylor

Snodgrass   Whelan   Hourihane   Adomah

                      Davis        Hogan

With no Kodjia, this is the best XI for me. I've also wanted to see Hogan play with a striker for a while now.

We can switch to a 4-2-3-1 later on with Onomah, O'hare, or Grealish. If gabby is fit, put him on the bench because we have no strikers otherwise. 

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3 hours ago, Grasshopper said:

As Flukey Luck would have it, PNE will have a weekend defence.

No excuse not to go at them then.

Win = Bruce is still dead man walking

Draw = Sack

Lose = Sack

                         SJ

 RDL/Bree Chester Terry Taylor

                        Jedi

      Snod Hourihane Adomah

Davis Kodjia (if fit/Hogan off KD)

Subs

Steer Bree/RDL Samba Whelan Elmo Onomah + Anyone but Hutton & Thor

 

I think you'll find it's a weekday defence.

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I totally agree with everyone who wants to see Davis and Hogan upfront, but I think this is the game where Bruce starts with both Jedi and Whelan.  Something between a 4-4-2 and a 4-2-3-1.

------------------- Johnstone ----------------

Elmo ---- Chester -- Terry ---- Hutton

Snoddy -- Whelan -- Jedi -- Adomah

-------------------- Hourihane -----------------

------------------------ Davis --------------------

I think it might actually cause them quite a few problems... with the double DM insurance, all 3 of Snodgrass, Hourihane and Adomah can surge forward, with Davis as the foil.  An inexperienced defence might find that more difficult to organise against than a standard 2 up top.  Also gives him more options from the bench to change it up if needs be.

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