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Pre match thread

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Third game in six days will be a tough one up at Boro. We need to play to our strengths and try get back to the composure we showed at Derby. Hopefully McGinn will be a bit fresher. No Hutton so Elmo will come in (which I’m happy with as I think he’s our strongest RB). 

Boro have some big boys so I expect a tough game for our defence. We looked very vulnerable against Forest and need to ensure our defence has adequate protection from the midfield. That was the case at Derby and mean we stifled the opposition’s attacks and could counter well. 

Can’t see DS changing the team so I expect the start starting XI from midweek (with Elmo for Hutton). Let’s go at them and play to our strengths. 

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I’d take a draw, but we can’t draw too many, as we will start falling behind. Boro are good at the back, and we are great going forward. Boro are a bit toothless upfront, and we are poor at the back. Smash and grab win???

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If he was available, I’d be tempted to start Jedinak in DM as we’re struggling with defending set pieces and let’s face it, it’s a Pulis side.

All I know is I have **** all idea on how this will go.

That in itself is quite exciting.

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I have an idea for the next line-up ...

17a3674d665fee36d8f02adc7dc6706c.png

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33 minutes ago, Shropshire Lad said:

If he was available, I’d be tempted to start Jedinak in DM as we’re struggling with defending set pieces and let’s face it, it’s a Pulis side.

All I know is I have **** all idea on how this will go.

That in itself is quite exciting.

I'd be tempted to put Jedinak in goal

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pains me to say it but Whelan in for Hourihane is probably our best bet for not conceding 5

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40 minutes ago, BOF said:

I have an idea for the next line-up ...

17a3674d665fee36d8f02adc7dc6706c.png

pedant but Hutton is banned

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Corners, as ever, will be a big problem for us in this game. Best hope is to dominate posession and outscore opponent. Only thing we can do until Jan.

Elmo for Hutton

Moreira for Nyland

Jedinak for Conor to sit infront of the defence, need extra protection and height to defend against Pulis' only tactic.

I think we can win but a lot needs to go our way. Hooefully ill be pleasantly surprised just like our last away game.

Head says 2-2

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2 hours ago, Rugeley Villa said:

I’d take a draw, but we can’t draw too many, as we will start falling behind. Boro are good at the back, and we are great going forward. Boro are a bit toothless upfront, and we are poor at the back. Smash and grab win???

I know where youre coming from as theyre decent, but everytime we draw a game it means we need to win an extra match, in effect. I might take a draw if we were first or second in the league.

Also, we usually do pretty well up there from recent memory. So no reason not to win. Out score them Villa.

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Right, where do you start?

With the officials I suppose :
Referee : Andy Davies
Assistant Referees: Paul Hodskinson and James Wilson
Fourth Official : Andy Woolmer

 

Apart from Forest, Boro are the other side who've only lost twice this season (to Forest & Norwich).  They're unbeaten in 7 and sit 6th in the home table.  They rank 19th scoring goals at home (10) but they rank 1st in conceding goals at home (3).  So it's no surprise that games involving Middlesbrough rank 24th and bottom in total goals, and games at the Riverside the same.

So 6-6 then.

TBH I think "both teams to score" is the bet here (and may well be the bet involving Villa for the rest of the season).  I'd probably begrudgingly take a draw, but we're obviously well capable of winning this game and losing it too.  We're f**king mental at the moment so the only guarantee is it'll be worth watching :) 

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As a couple of other posters have mentioned, I too would be tempted to start with Jedinak for his aerial presence, if he is fit and available for selection.

Boro started Tuesday's game at Preston with Flint, Ayala, Batth, Hugill and Gestede all in the starting eleven, these are all six-foot plus and I worry that we will not be able to cope with the many set-pieces you can expect from a Pulis team.

To be fair Gestede came off injured at Deepdale, so he probably won't start, but that means Assombalonga will and he's no doubt the better player and will cause us different problems to Rudy.

Would probably have taken a point  if offered prior to last night's game, but with two dropped points, we really could do with all 3, with the baggies next in line. 

 

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21 minutes ago, WakefieldVillan said:

Would probably have taken a point  if offered prior to last night's game, but with two dropped points, we really could do with all 3, with the baggies next in line. 

 

Well it may well end up a draw but I can guarantee it wont be 0-0

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Possibly the worst game we could get with the state of our defence!

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2 hours ago, BOF said:

Yeah ... about Jedinak ...

47264344_2222244461152944_73545722767731

I'm gutted Birkir got injured. Really liked what i saw from him the few minutes he got under Smith.

I'd love to see what this team could do:

---------------------Nyland----------------

Hutton--Tuanzebe--Chester--Taylor

--------------------Birkir--------------------------

--------------McGinn--Grealish--------------

Bolasie--------Abraham----------Kodjia

Edited by villalad21

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8 minutes ago, villalad21 said:

I'm gutted Birkir got injured. Really liked what i saw from him the few minutes he got under Smith.

I'd love to see what this team could do:

---------------------Nyland----------------

Hutton--Tuanzebe--Chester--Taylor

--------------------Birkir--------------------------

--------------McGinn--Grealish--------------

Bolasie--------Abraham----------Kodjia

This side but with Jedinak instead of Bjarnason 

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4 minutes ago, sir_gary_cahill said:

This side but with Jedinak instead of Bjarnason 

Nah Jedi is too slow for Smith's system

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