I thought we could do with a new thread for this game.
This is a massive game for us as we all know, one that I'm hoping we dont have a "deer in the headlights" type start like we did against Inter. We arent walking into a stadium/atmosphere that we havent seen before, only thing that has changed is the team were playing and hopefully Harry will have the lads ready for this one. I think there are two major battles to be won on Tuesday. First one, is our CBs with their front men and the second is breaking up their midfield play with our CM pairing. We are certainly going to be missing some our injured players, but so are they so if we truly come out from the start and play like we can then I think we can get a result against them. I also think their keeper is a weak link and we have to test him early and often.
Injuries- Bale, Kaboul, King are all out, Jenas is suspended......havent heard the final word for Modric/VDV but I think both of them will play in this. VDV IMO will start and Modric will come off the bench, but well have to wait and see what happens in the next day or two as far as they go.
The back 4 stays the same as Sunderland, I think both Gallas and Daws are the key for us shutting down Ibra and either Charlie or BAE will have to deal with either Robinho or Pato. The midfield is where this game will either be won or lost for us and I'd assume Harry would start Palacios but I'd rather see Sandro. It'll be a big occasion for either but I want to see Sandro get the start, with Jenas suspended I think Harry will either start Modric or play Pienaar next to our DM. Lennon and Niko down the wings and I really hope Lennon takes advantage of their RB I think a lot of our play will go through him, (hopefully our coaching staff have noted that between their RB and LB the latter is the weak link in their back 4). Rafa playing in behind Crouchie who I also think Harry will start over JD and Pav.
Here's my XI to start, I think Harry will play Modric because Jenas is suspended for this so I really cant see him playing Sandro/Palacios only other CM options we have are Pienaar/Niko to play central which one would be playing CM and the other playing on the wing
Subs: Cudicini, Hutton, Bassong, Palacios, Pienaar, Defoe, Pav