Sorry folks, brief one / little time…
Predicted starting 11, subs and outcome.
Fluid 4-5-1 come 4-3-3 come 4-2-4:
Claudio in net.
Being rested at the weekend; it seems obvious that it was for tonight’s game and, so, Aleks & Pablo to be our flanking defenders this evening. Nicholas & John in between those.
Fernandinho given the main, ‘deeper / protection’ task (good luck with that!) and I can see Pep wanting to go for his preferred, strongest 'centre' ahead of the Brazilian...that being David & Kevin. Either side of those is ‘birthday boy’ - who came on as a late sub last Saturday and got us a point - on the left (Nolito) and I think our manager will want to see Raheem back to his early-season best on the right side.
Sergio to get his starting place back tonight.
Willy the keeper cover; Gael & Vinny the defensive replacement options. Fernando to 'come to the rescue' if we need to 'dig deep' and defend for our lives; Ilkay, Leroy & Kelechi the more creative & attacking options form the side.
Notable absences: Bacary Sagna (injured), Fabian Delph (recovering from injury), Jesus Navas (not selected) & Yaya Toure (not included in Champions League squad).
Do I agree with Pep’s (predicted) line-up?
Yep…it’s about as fresh-legged and as strong as we can muster in many ways.
Result? It’ll be interesting to see what effect two teams with similar, high tempo / pressing styles will have. Results-wise it’s not been a great period for us of late BUT I’m going for those similar playing styles to cancel each other out. It’s a very creditable draw for us I think.
Expected weather conditions during the game: Overcast, hardly a breeze and a pleasant / comfortable 64F.