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Saturday, January 21st

 

3PM

 

 

 

The Form

 

 

Boro's last game was a 0-0 draw at an emotionally charged Vicarage Road following the death of Graham Taylor. After a lackluster first half that had a total of three(!) shots, Watford attacked more in the second, with Tom Cleverley hitting the post. We saw the debut of Gestede, who got thirty minutes at the end of the game up front with Negredo. Boro's last win in the league was against Swansea on December 17th.

 

West Ham beat Palace 3-0 at home in their last match, with Andy Carroll scoring a peach to record their first win in four games. All pre-match attention was focused on Dimitri Payet, with the talismatic Frenchman refusing to play for the club in an attempt to force a move away from the London Stadium.

 

The Opposition

 

West Ham currently sit in 12th place, 5 points above the Boro but with a worse goal difference. Last season they finished 7th, securing a spot in the third qualifying round of the Europa League, which they duly crashed out of a round later against Astra Giurgiu.

 

Man in charge Slaven Bilic has been at the helm since June 2015, after taking over from Big Sam, the miracle worker who somehow kept a truly woeful Sunderland up last year before being booted out of the England job after one game.

 

Possible Line Up

 

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Numerous questions over this line up: Will Karanka change formation again? Will new boy Patrick Bamford get a seat on the bench? Will we see a return to the side for Fischer? It's basically anyone's guess!!

 

Karanka-Vision

 

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View From The Otherside

 

 

Other Notable Fixtures

 

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  • Liverpool v Swansea
  • Bournemouth v Watford
  • Palace v Everton
  • WBA v Sunderland
  • Southampton v Leicester (Sun)
  • Chelsea v Hull (Sun)

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I think both Gestede and Espinosa will play this one, so probably 5-3-2 again.

 

We need people good in the air to counter Carrol. As good as Chambers and Gibson might be, they don't dominate in the air and Carrol certainly does. Gestede and Espinosa should be able to deal with him for set pieces etc.

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Interesting to read some of the comments at their end. Saw one thinking that, after the shambolic security display at the London Stadium (we all remember that), our fans might look to 'pick a few off'.

 

I sincerely hope not. I'd like to think our fans are better than that, sinking to their level. Shout and scream all you like in the stadium. When you're entering and leaving the ground, just leave people be. Everyone wants to watch a game of football and I hope the Hammers fans arrive and get home safely.

 

Only game I've got to this season was Stoke Home and on the way out, I saw an older Boro fan antagonising a young Stoke fan. I got in the way of the drunken old git and he started having a go at me. Some ***e people about.

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As for the football, I think it will be back to 4-3-3:

 

Valdes

Fabio Chambers Gibson Friend

Leadbitter Clayton De Roon

Stuani Negredo Fischer

 

Going for 2-1 Boro. Bam Bam coming on to score the winner.

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Interesting to read some of the comments at their end. Saw one thinking that, after the shambolic security display at the London Stadium (we all remember that), our fans might look to 'pick a few off'.

 

I sincerely hope not. I'd like to think our fans are better than that, sinking to their level. Shout and scream all you like in the stadium. When you're entering and leaving the ground, just leave people be. Everyone wants to watch a game of football and I hope the Hammers fans arrive and get home safely.

 

Only game I've got to this season was Stoke Home and on the way out, I saw an older Boro fan antagonising a young Stoke fan. I got in the way of the drunken old git and he started having a go at me. Some *** people about.

 

Both sets of thugs will be there.

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I think both Gestede and Espinosa will play this one, so probably 5-3-2 again.

 

We need people good in the air to counter Carrol. As good as Chambers and Gibson might be, they don't dominate in the air and Carrol certainly does. Gestede and Espinosa should be able to deal with him for set pieces etc.

Agree! Good points. Certainly would be a tactical move to counter carrol's aerial threat.

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I think it is vital. that we put on a good performance on Saturday and whilst this is definitely a "must not" lose game I believe that a win just might sway any player considering joining us allowing them to take part towards the march of a safety position in the league.

 

Also as I will be going to the game then I much prefer a journey back without my son being in a foul mood, no fun if you have to travel 250 miles one way

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Traore in behind Negredo? I think he's far better suited to playing on the wing. In that #10 role he would need to show for the ball and then when he gets it turn and play a forward pass. Not really his strength.

 

------------Negredo-------Bamford----------------

 

------Leadbitter----Clayton-----De Roon-------

 

Friend-------------------------------------------Fabio

 

--------Gibson----Bernardo----Chambers-----

 

------------------------Valdez---------------------------

 

Change back to 4-3-3 and bring Traore off the bench if we need to late on.

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Traore in behind Negredo? I think he's far better suited to playing on the wing. In that #10 role he would need to show for the ball and then when he gets it turn and play a forward pass. Not really his strength.

 

------------Negredo-------Bamford----------------

 

------Leadbitter----Clayton-----De Roon-------

 

Friend-------------------------------------------Fabio

 

--------Gibson----Bernardo----Chambers-----

 

------------------------Valdez---------------------------

 

Change back to 4-3-3 and bring Traore off the bench if we need to late on.

 

Traores passing seems to have advanced slightly less slowly than his crossing and he wouldnt have to cross playing centrally, that was my thinking hah.

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I didn't think that 5-3-2 really worked, last week if anything we looked more vulnerable playing with 3 CBs and our attacking threat was blunted by our lack of extra options down the flanks. I'd like us to go back to the tried and tested 4-2-3-1 with Bamford, Stuani and Ramirez, if fit behind Negredo.

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