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Blinkin' heck! Three on the bounce?! Where do I pick up the match ball?

 

Anyway here is the official thread for Boro V Leicester City in which is undoubtedly the toughest game of our season so far.

 

Leicester are flying. There is no doubt about that, but looked a relatively ordinary side against Leeds on Saturday. However, they are doing what good teams do. Getting points despite performances. Very similar to ourselves of late. The Charlton game wasn't one that will be remembered for years but the important thing is we got 3 points, we are 9th in the table and if results go our way could end up only 2 points off the playoffs come Saturday evening.

 

It is looking more and more likely at time of print that Rhys will not be with us come kick off - I wish him all the best at Swansea. Can see him doing very well there and becoming a key player for them. Unfortunately his head hasn't been in Middlesbrough for a while and at present we are better off recouping the alleged £2m we are looking to get for him and reinvesting than waiting for his head to be back in Middlesbrough.

 

Could Ayala be a permanent Boro player by Saturday also? Looking like we are trying to secure his services permanently which again, for the fees quoted, would be extremely astute business.

 

The big question I suppose is... Are we finally going to secure a striker/goalscorer with the fee coming in for Rhys? Will this be done in time for Saturday?

 

It is eveident - again - that we badly need a goalscorer - Juke again didn't cut the mustard and missed a few guilty chances that could have again put the Charlton game out of sight for us.

 

It is obvious that we will need to up our game for Saturday, but the Boro do have a very strange habit of getting results against the top teams. I'm feeling optimistic and thinking we can snatch 3 points here. If we can contain Leicester's wingers - which with the recent performances of Varga and Friend I have no doubts we can - and remain as solid at the back as we have during our unbeaten run then we can get goals on the counter using a hopefully fit again Adomah (who we missed massively on Saturday) and Muzzy. Ledesma also a continual threat with his mystical ability to create a "ghost-ball", which incredibly passes straight through goalkeepers.

 

Lets hope for more of the same on Saturday...

 

Usual ramblings... Lineups, Emnes, Kamara, Adomah returning...

 

Dreckly...

 

Cornish:heart:

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I have to agree this will be our toughest game so far, I'm confident we can snatch a draw!

Well I hope we do, I'm going to this one so I hope we don't get 6/7 put past us!

 

2-2 draw is what I'm going for!

 

And I'm in favour of Cornish doing every match day thread, we win when he does! ;)

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Can't wait for this! The two form teams in the league, I'd like to see our new lads start. We'll need fresh legs, Leicester are a very fast team. We'll need to match them man for man if we are to have any chance.

 

My line up:

 

Given

 

Omeruo

Woodgate

Ayala

Friend

 

Chalobah

Leadbitter

 

Adomah

Emnes

Ledesma

 

Kamara

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If we play like we did against Charlton we will get beat. Leicester have some quality strikers who wont miss many opportunities like the Charlton boys did.

 

If we play like we did against Burnley, i.e nullifying their attack we will stand a chance with coming away with something. It goes without saying that everyone needs to be putting a shift in to obtain that objective..

 

I just think we will miss out (just) due to us not taking chances and Leicester being clinical. In games like these against the big boys we need strikers to be clinical, with Juke not scoring, im struggling to see a win..

 

But then Leicester didnt play great against Leeds and looked vulnerable at the back, had it been a different day McCormack would have scored 3 easily.

 

But then again, i thought the exact same when we played Burnley and we played them off the park so what do i know!

 

Screw it, Boro to draw......................2-2 and il back Juke to break his dry spell along with Emnes


Its interesting that alot of people on their forums think that this could be the end of their run and they predict a tough game. If nothing else comes out of this, at least we have changed the mentality of other teams and how they think about us :D From zero to hero

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How come everybody so far has dropped Whitehead for Chalobah? Is Whitehead injured?

 

My team would be:

 

Kamara

Adomah Emnes Ledesma

Whitehead Leadbitter

Friend Woodgate Ayala Varga

Given

 

This of course depends on us signing Ayala otherwise he won't be here and I'd expect Omeruo to step in. It also assumes that Williams has left for Swansea.

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How come everybody so far has dropped Whitehead for Chalobah? Is Whitehead injured?

 

My team would be:

 

Kamara

Adomah Emnes Ledesma

Whitehead Leadbitter

Friend Woodgate Ayala Varga

Given

 

This of course depends on us signing Ayala otherwise he won't be here and I'd expect Omeruo to step in. It also assumes that Williams has left for Swansea.

 

We need fresh legs in the team, Whitehead needs a rest. Leicester are a very dangerous team. I watched them against Derby and they have some seriously direct and fast players. Chalobah will want to prove himself after his poor spell at Forest and what better way to do it, against the leagues top team.

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Guest O'Briens Agent

I'm in 2 minds - Varga v Omeruo - for this game. I read all posts avidly + know there is a polarised view on Varga. With Leicester having speed merchants down flanks I wonder if AK would see Omeruo as the better option for this game. However, what can be read into both Chelsea loanees failing to make the bench on Saturday?

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-------------- Given ----------------

- Varga - Ayala - Woodgate - Friend -

------ Leadbitter - Whitehead -------

--- Ledesma -- Emnes -- Adomah ---

-------------- Kamara -------------

 

+ Konstantonopoulos, Omeruo, Gibson, Chalobah, Butterfield, Carayol, Jutkiewicz/Main.

 

2-2

Vardy 21', Leadbitter 53', Kamara 72', Dyer 86'.

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Would be interesting to see if karanka does a Jose thing and play 4-3-2-1 formation apposed to 4-2-3-1 to completely nullify their attack?

 

I'm going

Given

Varga, Ayala, Woodgate, Friend

Chalobah, Whitehead

Leadbitter

Ledesma, Adomah

Kamara

 

Keep it tight, try and nick a 1-0 and on 60-70 mins bring on muzzy to push and exploit them pushing forward

 

I'm probable completely wrong

 

2-1 boro

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I don't think we'll win either. At the end of the day, a draw would represent a fantastic result (heart says we'll get it, head says we won't).

 

I know one thing for sure though. If we do win this game, expectations will go through the roof.

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We've lost 5, drawn six and won only once in our last 12 games with Leicester. Last win in 2:1 win at home in 2002, and last win at Leicester was in 2001. 1997 was when we won 3:1 before the coca cola cup final - TLF was amazing that day but allowed them an insight to plan the Pontus Kamark man to man marking for the final. Was there when we beat them 6:0 in 1990 (travelled back to Leicester with a car full of their fans lol). Was also there when Mcallister near ruined our promotion party in 1988. In fact I was there when they beat us 1:0 at Ayresome Park in 1976 and Frankie Worthington broke Platt's cheekbone - ah the memories keep flooding back ;) This game will tell us a lot about where Boro are - has Karanka put steel into our game and are we tactically astute enough. Leicester are a very well organised and good footballing side who can also battle it out and Pearson is a former Boro hero. Very difficult call, cannot see Boro winning but both teams are on form - 2:1 to Boro says my heart, but this is on balance 2:1 to them in my view. Think we will do ok, Nugent needs to be watched but Vardy is the one that ran us ragged at the Riverside. Looking forward to it - much better than a relegation fight - the two form sides, bring it on!

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Really can't see us losing this, Leicester were very poor against Leeds and we've only conceded 2 goals in 6 league games. I hope we set out much like we did against Burnley, high tempo, high pressure, nullify their striker/s and nick ourselves a goal. 1-0 Boro.

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