Friday, 28 October 2016

Bouncebackability at the Baggies?

The word bouncebackability means to have, “…the capacity to bounce back quickly from a setback”.


Well our “setback” is a 6-game winless run and, so, it’s hardly ‘bouncing back quickly’ really is it…unless you count 'the setback' as-being knocked out of the League Cup to our neighbours from Trafford just 3 days earlier? 


Not exactly a cheery way to start a blog-posting now, is it?

Straight to it then with a, “v West Bromwich Albion”…

The Hawthorns

Predicted starting 11, subs and outcome.

Fluid 4-5-1 come 4-3-3 come 4-2-4:


___________________De Bruyne__________________





With Pep Guardiola, apparently, being a 'little cagey' in his Press conference this afternoon regarding injuries – and with half-an’-eye perhaps on Tuesday night’s home game against a certain Barcelona - this could be another difficult starting 11 & subs for me to predict.

Claudio “in net” is the obvious one, which I doubt I’ll get wrong.

We’re likely to see a ‘back 4’ for our away trip on Saturday, I think, and at left back it’s likely to be Gael for this one. Not QUITE knowing if both Bacary & Pablo senior are still recovering from injury or have been secretly ‘fixed’ in time for tomorrow; I’m going for our manager to be bold and give Pablo junior his second game in just 3 days…especially having had a decent enough game against Manyoo. Having been withdrawn at half time on Wednesday through tiredness - but clearly wanting to keep our skipper’s game fitness ticking along / progressing - I think we’ll see Vinny start again against Albion. We might see 60 minutes from the Belgium central defender this time and then, perhaps, withdrawn ‘in preparation’ / ‘as a precaution’ ahead of the Spanish visitors in 3-days’ time. John to partner him in the middle of defence.

Rested on Wednesday; Fernandinho gets his starting place back and is highly likely to be joined by [rested also] David. Is Kevin fit? Well…rumours are that he has been training for a couple of days at least so, like Vinny, I think we’ll see him start and then get withdrawn ‘in prep for…’. Although Jesus Navas got the local paper’s MotM with an 8/10 performance in the League Cup; I don’t think he’ll be rewarded with another start in the Midlands (but expect him to come on, perhaps for Kevin early in the second half). I think, instead, we’ll see Raheem on the right and Leroy on the left.

Sergio to get his starting place back…I think!

Willy to resume him place on the side and is joined by 2 defenders in Aleks & Nicholas. After that, though, it’s a very creative & attacking quartet of possible changes in Ilkay, Jesus, Nolito & Kelechi.

Notable absences: Bacary Sagna (injured / close to a return I think), Pablo Zabaleta (injured / close to a return…again, I think), Fabian Delph (injured and still no return date) and Yaya Toure (not being selected after an agent / club ‘bust up’).

Do I agree with Pep’s (predicted) line-up?

Fine with me…and I hope we see some progress made by Leroy tomorrow.

Result? After a ropey start to the season in the league during a period of The Hawthorns being an ‘unhappy ship’; where rumours floated around that they might lose their manager – a time that also included an early League Cup exit on penalties to Northampton Town – WBA have certainly galvanised somewhat and ‘tightened up’ results a little.

The ‘last 5’ of W D D D L suggests that they have got their act together a little and conceding “just” 1, 1, 1 & 2 in their last 4 games (the 2 coming away at Anfield) suggests also that they are a little difficult to break down of late. That’s the sign of a Tony Pulis team…and not a good sign for a team who appears to be struggling to find the keys to unlock opposition doors of late.

However, I’m going for us to end our run of 6 games without a victory tomorrow – yes it’ll be tough and possibly a 'bruising encounter' too (not good with Tuesday looming) but I’m going for us to breach their defences more than they’ll breach ours. It’s an away win…finally!

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