Wednesday - V - Fulham
Saturday 21st September
15:00 kick off
THE TEAM NEWS
Predicted line-up (4-4-2):
Odubajo Iorfa Borner Palmer
Reach Hutchinson Bannan Harris
Unavailable: Forestieri (Suspended), Wildsmith (Injured), Lees (Injured)
Predicted line-up (4-3-3):
Sessegnon Mawson Ream Bryan
Arter Reed Cairney
Knockaert Mitrovic Cavaleiro
Fulham eh, one of the best teams in the division for most peoples money ,Knockaert ,Mitrovic and Cavaleiro as a front three must be the envy of every club in the division. Young Scott Parker has certainly been backed by the chairman.
Yet despite this, I don't think we have anything to fear. I don't honestly. Yes they've got some good players. But they haven't, Millwall game aside, dished out the sort of pastings that could probably be expected of that team.
They've drawn their last two against West Brom and a Cardiff side who aren't pulling any trees up. Edged past a Huddersfield side who appear to be in free-fall and have lost against a Forest side in similar form to ourselves and lost to a Dingles side who are most peoples favourites for the drop .
I'm really looking forward to it to be honest. They will actually go toe to toe and give us a game and I actually think that will suit us.
There will be challenged of course. Palmer will have to be at his best against the shyster Knockhaert . What a way to celebrate your birthday weekend!
Odubajo will really have to pull his finger out against Cavaleiro , a lad who could catch pigeons. He'll have to get out of that habit of getting a bit too tight and getting spun which is the one area where does give me the old sphincter clench when I can see it coming.
Stand a yard off him lad, there's few going to do you for pace in a flat race!
Defensively though? I think there's joy to be had for us if we get at them. Harris against Sessegnon looks a great battle on the one flank (though I'd like to see Reach out there and Harris switched up against Bryan who I don't think would live with Kadeem.)
Fletcher is in fine form and I fancy him to continue it against these. Fletch is good in the air, his hold up play is top notch but his greatest weapon at the moment will be his confidence. He's on his best run for years and that sort of thing can't be engineered on the training ground-feeling great.
We keep getting the ball in and he'll keep getting on the end of things, I'm sure of that.
Midfield is an funny one. So many permutations. Personally I like Lee. I'd like to see what The Monk can get out of him. He remains, in my eyes, our best bet for goals from midfield with those ghosting runs into the box. But will we play 3 in the middle?
It would make sense to given the experience of Carney and Arter aided by the prompting bursts of Reed.
I think there would be a shout for Luongo...but he's so far been overlooked and one has to wonder whether missing that vital pre-season work with QPR has left him a couple of weeks behind the rest of the boys.
The other thing to consider is whether Winnall will start and play in a pair with Fletch. He looked like he'd got lead in his boots in his previous outing but looked a different beast against Huddersfield. Putting himself about, linking things and best of all...making the right sort of runs as evidenced by his terrific header from the Bannan cross
And blimey didn't he enjoy it. He'll be buzzing still and wanting to build on that, and whether he's the long term answer or not, Monk will be aware of just what a tool that sort of spark can bring to someones form. He'll be chomping at the bit to get out there and do it again. Especially in front of a home crowd and it will certainly have been one of the main things Monk has been considering this week when looking at his selection.
No idea what team Monk will pick. But if we get as stuck in and match them physically and earn the right to play then I think we'll have a cracking match on our hands and I think it's worth a sneaky punt on us.
It's the new managers home debut as gaffer and I think that will create a good atmosphere for the lads to get into this lot.
Good reception, good start from the players, get the place going a bit and go for the jugular!
Come on Wednesday!!