To Wales then on Sunday afternoon and Cardiff City. The Bluebirds will be pleased with their start to the season, especially their home form. A win and a draw against two teams expected to be in the top half a dozen next May? Very nice, and it sends out an obvious signal to us that though newly promoted, they can’t be taken lightly.
Ex-Spur Fraizer Campbell did the damage against Man City in their most eye-catching result thus far. Campbell was with us during the striker crisis caused by the exits of both Keane and Berbatov in the summer of 2008. He did his best but wasn’t really up to it truth be told, he’s obviously come on since then despite at least one serious injury. At the other end another former Yid Steven Caulker is doing his bit. Caulker’s danger at set pieces should be well known to our defence and our defence’s vulnerability at set pieces will be well known to Caulker. To be fair though, things seem much improved this year; we’ve been putting a man on both posts which has helped and so far have looked as secure from corners and free-kicks as we have in open play. Only one goal conceded in seven games now. Apart from those two Cardiff’s threat lies in Whittingham, Bellamy, Gunnarsson and, rather surprisingly, Peter Odemwingie.
It’s already got to that time of the season where who is fit plays as much part in Villas-Boas’s selection plans as tactics and form. If Rose isn’t fit then Naughton will probably take over at left back. Vertonghen might have been a preferred option but with Kaboul also struggling there’s a lack of cover in the middle, especially with Capoue out and Chiriches still clutching his deli counter number in the work permit queue in the Home Office. Sandro is a ready-made replacement for Dembélé if the Belgian’s knacked, the news sounds promising though.
My guess is Hugo, Walker, Vertonghen, Daws, Naughton, Sandro, Dembele, Eriksen, Sigurdsson, Soldado and Lamela. It’s a guess though.
I think we all know what to expect on Sunday, a noisy crowd, a high tempo from the home team, some ‘welcome to Wales’ challenges and judging by their efforts against Manchester City some quality efforts on goal. We need to match them for tempo, keep our heads, take advantage of any space that opens up and most of all of any chances that come our way.
The referee is, oh no, it’s Twattenburg. Only 5 games in and we’ve had him twice already? What’s going on? Pah.
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