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paulw66   

Difficult to know what he will do, and I'm undecided as to what he should do. 

The fringe players need some game time, but there must be a temptation to make sure you win the first couple of games, so the others become less of a worry. 

I imagine Hazard and the other key players will travel and be on the bench in case they are needed, although the temptation to wrap Hazard in cotton wool and leave him at home must be in Sarri's mind. 

Edit - Drinkwater can't play. Ampadu hopefully will 

Edited by paulw66

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13 hours ago, paulw66 said:

Difficult to know what he will do, and I'm undecided as to what he should do. 

The fringe players need some game time, but there must be a temptation to make sure you win the first couple of games, so the others become less of a worry. 

I imagine Hazard and the other key players will travel and be on the bench in case they are needed, although the temptation to wrap Hazard in cotton wool and leave him at home must be in Sarri's mind. 

Edit - Drinkwater can't play. Ampadu hopefully will 

Surely he has to go with the fringe players and leave the top boys at home. Priority this season has got to be top 4 with any cup run being an added bonus. For me the Ropey League needs to be treated like the League Cup, fringe teams until you find yourself in the quarters/semis depending on league position. 

Further to this, Vidi, Bate and PAOK are Champo level teams. If the fringe squad cannot deal with them then they will need to be shifted as they will not merit a place in the first XI. 

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paulw66   
10 hours ago, Conte Kante said:

Surely he has to go with the fringe players and leave the top boys at home. Priority this season has got to be top 4 with any cup run being an added bonus. For me the Ropey League needs to be treated like the League Cup, fringe teams until you find yourself in the quarters/semis depending on league position. 

Further to this, Vidi, Bate and PAOK are Champo level teams. If the fringe squad cannot deal with them then they will need to be shifted as they will not merit a place in the first XI. 

I don't disagree with the assessment, and I would leave Hazard, Azpi, Kante, Jorginho etc at home. However, I can see the argument for this game putting a strongish team out, then with the next being 2 home games, 3 out of 3 virtually qualifies us and takes away any pressure. 

I would use the fringe players, but wouldnt be surprised if he took some seniors

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There has to be a point somewhere when the club give the manager the green light to play the "kids" without the threat of sacking if they don't win , you'd like to think losing  the likes of Chalobah and Ake , fed up with the lack of playing time and wasting millions of pounds on their inferior replacements has opened someones eyes at the club.

I'd like to see a mixture of experienced fringe players like Cahill , some prospects like CHO and Ampadu and some first teamers like Willian and especially Kepa who still needs games to get his confidence up.

I don't think this is going to be a pointless stroll like some , iirc their nickname is "The Black death" for a start , the atmosphere will be intimidating and getting through that will prove invaluable for the younger less experienced players .

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paulw66   
3 hours ago, Mark Kelly said:

There has to be a point somewhere when the club give the manager the green light to play the "kids" without the threat of sacking if they don't win , you'd like to think losing  the likes of Chalobah and Ake , fed up with the lack of playing time and wasting millions of pounds on their inferior replacements has opened someones eyes at the club.

 

Ake should still be here, and he could replace Cahill and Emerson in one swoop. Chalobah could have prevented us signing Drinkwater (not in the Europa squad)

The only yoof likely to get a game are Ampadu and CHO (not counting AC) as they are the only ones listed. Expect something like

Caballero, Zappa, AC, Cahill, Emerson, Amapu, Barkley, Fabregas, CHO, WIllian, Morata/Giroud. 

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9 hours ago, paulw66 said:

However, I can see the argument for this game putting a strongish team out, then with the next being 2 home games, 3 out of 3 virtually qualifies us and takes away any pressure. 

Exactly this. I'd have a semi-strong starting XI. Something like; 

Arrizabalaga - Azpilicueta, Rüdiger, Christensen, Emerson - Loftus-Cheek, Fabregas, Barkley - Willian, Morata, Hudson-Odoi

Subs: Caballero, Ampadu, Alonso, Kanté, Moses, Hazard, Giroud

 

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Surely the club should be looking at 2016/17 as the template for this PL season. By this, I mean a solid core of 14/15 players who player all league games. This however can only be achieved if all of them play no football other than the PL. As for the cups, these should be used as a platform for the squad/youth members to get some decent minutes and show what they can do. If they fail, no loss, if they play themselves into form even better. 

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2 hours ago, Conte Kante said:

Surely the club should be looking at 2016/17 as the template for this PL season.. 

Is that to continue for the next couple of seasons with the over 30’s brigade of Pedro, William, Fabregas, Luiz, Giroud?

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15 minutes ago, RobertoftheGiz said:

Is that to continue for the next couple of seasons with the over 30’s brigade of Pedro, William, Fabregas, Luiz, Giroud?

3 of those are out of contract in 2019, the other 2 in 2020. Add in Cahill and we need to do some succession planning - using the EL to see if Ampadu, Hudson-Odoi and RLC are up to it should be the way to go.

I'd like to see a completely different team for all the midweek games between now and early December. We finally have a big squad so let's use it.

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So Jorginho, Kante, Willian, Fabregas, Alonso, Zappacosta, Barkley, Morata, Pedro, CHO & Ampadu all definitely travelling and Hazard appears to not be.

Would seem to indicate we're going to see some of our key men tomorrow, at least on the bench and hopefully a run out for CHO at some stage (hopefully from the start).

Edited by My Blood Is Blue

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