With Sunday’s Premier League game at The Lane fast approaching, what can we make of the last week and how will approach this game knowing a win could take us up to third place in the table. Well, the answer to the first question is met with a sense of great satisfaction. Our last league encounter against Villa (away) saw us pick up the three points in a comfortable 2-0 win where a dominating second half performance was crucial in obtaining the positive result. If truth be told we should have won by a greater margin but we got the win and that’s all that matters. Roberto Soldado finally got his first league goal in open play and the return of Aaron Lennon were the key highlights at Villa Park whilst the result/performance was just about enough to banish the memories of that bitterly disappointing West Ham loss. On Thursday, we returned to our healthy European campaign which saw us secure a 2-0 win away to Sheriff in a game that wasn’t the best by any standards, but we crucially dug deep and came home with another win. Job done, well nearly. A win against Sheriff at The Lane in our next game will see us progress through the knockout stages where the competition starts to get serious.
So that was the last week and this is now. Our full attentions will be on Hull City and we can’t afford to slip up like we did at The Lane last time around. Hull have surprised a few people so far this season and we will have to be at our pulsating best to get the three points there is no doubt about that.
So, team selection. Obviously Lloris is a dead cert to start in goal whilst Kyle Walker will remain at right back. The two centre half positions and the left back slot is where AVB might change things around. Vlad Chiriches has started against Villa and Sherrif in the past week and was particularly impressive in the game in Moldova. Will he retain his place? It’s very possible. If Danny Rose is fit I expect him to come back in at left back but if he doesn’t make it, expect Vertonghen to fulfil the role with Michael Dawson and Chiriches in the centre. In midfield Townsend will return at right wing whilst Paulinho, Eriksen, and Sigurdsson will probably occupy the other roles. Sandro had yet another excellent game in Europe on his return and he is really pushing for a place in the starting eleven at the moment. Mousa Dembele will most likely be the man t make way if AVB does decide on starting Sandro. I personally would like to see the Brazilian back in the team more regularly as we look so much more solid when he is playing. He gives us that bite that we have been lacking at times, and is more defensive minded than Paulinho and Dembele. Up top, Soldado is odds on to keep his place after his improved performance at Villa and I would back him to score again at The Lane.
A familiar face will be seen in the form of Tom Huddlestone who departed us for Hull in the summer whilst Jake Livermore would have been playing if it wasn’t for a clause in his loan contract preventing him from playing against us. Even though I wouldn’t fear any particular player in the Hull City ranks, they play well as a team and work for each other which is a positive quality to have in a team’s work ethic. We need to play with great intensity and pace right from the off and our quality should see us through quite easily. Man for man we are superior in every department so there really is no excuses not to collect the maximum points by 6 pm tomorrow evening.
My prediction you say? A comfortable 3-0 win with Soldado bagging a brace and Eriksen getting a late one, you heard it hear first! COYS!
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