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Holymoly   

So, this is it then. Could be a springboard to better things or it could prove that the weekend was indeed the harbinger of doom for our season.

With no Kante I honestly believe that it would be a huge mistake to partner up Jorginho with Kovacic but I fully expect that is what TT will end up doing. The wing backs should be Chilwell and James and I hope Giroud is played up front. Surely the approach should be for us to get a goal then when Porto press forward we can sub on the speed merchants to hit them on the break. This only works of course if we actually get a goal and the only person remotely worth backing here is Giroud.

The cynics amongst us may suggest the loss at the weekend was part of a master plan in order that Porto will probably have zero idea of the lineup we are likely to play.

I think I'll be watching this one from behind the sofa.

 

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^ Kante is in training, I wouldn't be surprised if he plays this one.
More worried about who plays with him.  Porto have no doubt seen how teams have done well against us - WBA in particular.  The trick is to press so that if we do break out of our own third, the man striding away with the ball to create is Kovacic.
It is probably time to go from 66 (2 besides each other) to ying/yang or 69 (one above the other) with Jorginho in front of a ball winner or Kante given free rein.  

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10 minutes ago, Droy was my hero said:

^ Kante is in training, I wouldn't be surprised if he plays this one.
More worried about who plays with him.  Porto have no doubt seen how teams have done well against us - WBA in particular.  The trick is to press so that if we do break out of our own third, the man striding away with the ball to create is Kovacic.
It is probably time to go from 66 (2 besides each other) to ying/yang or 69 (one above the other) with Jorginho in front of a ball winner or Kante given free rein.  

Another website far far away , look who gets MOTM .

wba.png

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15 minutes ago, Mark Kelly said:

Another website far far away , look who gets MOTM .

wba.png

0.1 and 0.2 ahead of players who managed 45 minutes. 

I'd probably agree that we had much, much worse performers on Saturday but I'm not sure Chelsea's MotM as they lost 5-2 at home to a relegation battler is the most glowing endorsement!

I have absolutely no idea how Porto play, so even less of an idea of what the best starting XI and approach for us should be. 

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20 minutes ago, Mark Kelly said:

Another website far far away , look who gets MOTM .

When we play well the WBs look terrific because they are standing alone while 8 of ours play 10 of theirs in the middle.  But they have to deliver, because just receiving the ball is a tribute to the other 8.  If they don't deliver they are failures.
Same with Kovacic.  If the defence play the ball out so that a CM can stride forward in a 6 vs 6 situation (well 6 vs 5 on Saturday) then the credit is all down to the other CM and the back 3.  They gain the advantage, and they take the risks of losing the ball (and take the blame).
If you think Kovacic is making good use of those opportunities fine - but I disagree strongly.  A lot of risk and effort goes into winning those opportunities, and if you don't make something of them then the oppo will press for 90 mins.  I see a man who wastes seconds of time in the middle, unchallenged, looking around for ideas.  If it then goes to a WB he has done nothing a CB couldn't have done with no risk at all.

 

Seems to me other clubs have understood how this works, and are willing to let Kovacic have the ball and take Jorginho out of the game.  If it is Kovacic who strides away not Jorginho, that either means clubs are pressing one not the other, or that it is Jorginho who is key to creating the time and space for his colleague (both I reckon).

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Holymoly   

May be worth playing Mount next to Kovacic. He can do a job there although we would miss him further up the pitch.

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16 minutes ago, My Blood Is Blue said:

Kante, Tammy and Pulisic all fit enough for the squad and have travelled.

Whereas their top 2 goal scorers are suspended, and it seems Sarr can't play (though that might not be final yet).

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Liverpool ,playing a Spanish side get to play at home to try and turn over a two goal defecit .

Meanwhile we have to play two away games when Portugal is as near to Spain as Wales is to England .

We're  being gerrymandered out of the competition.

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Bison   
15 hours ago, thevelourfog said:

0.1 and 0.2 ahead of players who managed 45 minutes. 

I'd probably agree that we had much, much worse performers on Saturday but I'm not sure Chelsea's MotM as they lost 5-2 at home to a relegation battler is the most glowing endorsement!

I have absolutely no idea how Porto play, so even less of an idea of what the best starting XI and approach for us should be. 

Exactly how I felt about his laughable POTY award last season.

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