Finally, some AFC Football again! Since there are no cup games at the moment or European football for us this season, it seems we are having AFC Footie withdrawal symptoms…
So today’s game is so welcome! We are playing at Burnley who is also struggling. They are not a great team by any means but they work hard – direct football, long balls, set-pieces pressure… It will be important to be present in the duels, air and on second-balls (knock downs). Ultimately, we should have enough quality and fire power to see them off but we need to start on the front foot with a lot of…Intensity (Mikel’s favourite word). Holding, El Neny probably out and Xhaka is still suspended.
I would play a 343 today with the following line-up:
Ramsdale – Tomy, White, Gabriel – Saka, Lokonga, AMN, Tierney – ESR, Laca, Auba
I still can’t fit Ode in my team so not sure how Arteta does it…lol
Now Arteta would pbbly play:
Ramsdale – Tomy, White, Gabriel, Tierney – Lokonga, AMN – Saka, Ode, ESR – Auba
It is going to come down today to (i) Ramsdale aerial capacity/commanding his box, (ii) Lokonga and AMN to protect our box on knockdown ballsm (iii) on White and Gabriel to neutralize long/direct balls and then (iv) on Tierney, Saka to stretch the defense and Auba’s ability to finish chances. If Laca were starting, then I think ESR will score but I doubt Laca will start but he will come in and be a game changer.
I can see Laca and Auba score today but I am not sure we will win…especially if we play Ode and ESR together so I can see a draw at 2-2 or a hard fought 2-1 win for us.
COYG! Let us climb the EPL table, 3 points at a time