I always loved the final home game of the season, the opportunity to say goodbye to the players leaving, the joy of saying goodbye to some of the numbskull season ticket holders who sat around me, a chance to thank the players for their season’s work and today, to give a noisy and grateful farewell to Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck, two of my favourite players
Of course, the season’s work is hardly done. Given my expectations at the start of the campaign it is a wonderful surprise that we are still in contention for 2 major prizes. I thought we would struggle to finish 7th! Win today and our next 3 (hopefully) away fixtures and this has been a very successful year.
How will Brighton respond following the relief they must feel after Cardiff’s loss and subsequent relegation. Will they simply down tools and think of the beach or will the relief allow them to play with freedom? Given their driven manager, Chris Wagnerton, I expect the latter. They will be out to impress.
Mr. Emery has a difficult decisions to make. Does he play his best available 11 or use second stringers ahead of the midweek Valencia game? Despite my lack of confidence in certain players – Elneny in particular – I would prioritise Valencia.
Given the long term injury to Welbz it is not possible to rest both our POTS and PEA, I expect PEA to start, though I am usually wrong.
Leno will start, so too Mustafi, and Monreal. Kos needs a rest so we could see Mavropanos start. Dare Mr Emery play the Elneny/Douzi midfield axis again? Iwobi is a certain starter and perhaps Mhki. Ozil as well.
Lose and we finish 6th. Win and we have a chance of Top 4.