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Boro vs West Bromwich Albion 1-1


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I think Downing will play LWB, for lack of other options. To be fair, we could do a lot worse.

 

That's a good shout, he does have some experience there from his time at Liverpool (but it was more LB than LWB I think).

 

Given all the injuries/unrest, this is the first time I've felt something positive about this match:

 

--------------------- Valdes ---------------------

--------- Bernardo -- Fry -- Gibson ----------

-- Fabio -------------------------- Downing --

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

--------Bamford ------------ Fischer ------------

------------------ Negredo ---------------------

 

With Bamford and Fischer on the pitch we would carry more of a goal threat - they'd definitely get some shots away, that's for sure!

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Valdes; Barragan, Espinosa, Gibson, Fabio; Clayton, De Roon, Forshaw; Stuani, Downing; Negredo

Dimi; Ayala, Fry, Leadbitter, Traore, Bamford, Gestede

 

Think Friend and Chambers are going to miss this one. It'll be a match won in the middle of the park, so think AK will have three in the middle. Hoping Downing pushes on from his performance against Accrington. I still feel that he knows Ramirez may not feature a lot more and wants to prove his place more than ever. Bamford or Stuani on right of Negredo for me. Think AK will choose latter.

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This is the time for Downing to repay and show what he can bring to the team for the remainder of the season. He had a good show in the Cup, albeit against a weak team, but he scored a wonderful individual goal to put us through. This could be his big chance to stake a claim in the team. Put in a good performance here Stewey.

 

It's impossible to call this lineup.

 

It will probably be the most nervous game since Brighton on the last day.

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Valdes; Barragan, Espinosa, Gibson, Fabio; Clayton, De Roon, Forshaw; Stuani, Downing; Negredo

Dimi; Ayala, Fry, Leadbitter, Traore, Bamford, Gestede

 

Think Friend and Chambers are going to miss this one. It'll be a match won in the middle of the park, so think AK will have three in the middle. Hoping Downing pushes on from his performance against Accrington. I still feel that he knows Ramirez may not feature a lot more and wants to prove his place more than ever. Bamford or Stuani on right of Negredo for me. Think AK will choose latter.

 

Spot on.

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I'd play Traore. If he plays on the left he's up against Dawson, who is slow as hell, and if he plays right he'll probably be up against Brunt, who isn't really a full back. All sorts of opportunities for him to open the game up.

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I'd play Traore. If he plays on the left he's up against Dawson, who is slow as hell, and if he plays right he'll probably be up against Brunt, who isn't really a full back. All sorts of opportunities for him to open the game up.

 

Agree. But we need a second striker ala Stuani or Bamford to support Negredo and can you drop Downing after Saturday? Or is he strong enough to play alongside Clayton and De Roon. Personally I'd rather see Downing start instead of Forshaw if it means Traore starts

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Guest Changing Times

Can you drop Downing after he played well against Accrington Stanley? Yes I think you can.

 

We rested players so that they'd be ready to play tomorrow. I'd be amazed if those players aren't back in the side. If anyone I'd say it was Bamford more likely to keep his place than Downing.

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Can you drop Downing after he played well against Accrington Stanley? Yes I think you can.

 

We rested players so that they'd be ready to play tomorrow. I'd be amazed if those players aren't back in the side. If anyone I'd say it was Bamford more likely to keep his place than Downing.

 

Well of course you can. What I meant was will it be wise to drop downing with Gaston in limbo. Maybe it's better to try an give Downing some confidence and build on after a match where he played well and was a match winner for once.

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I suppose it depends if everything Karanka has said and done up until now is *** really. He's made it clear that Downing isn't what he wants and that he doesn't suit this team. Ramirez pulling this crap doesn't change that. Downing has started one game (Man Utd) since the beginning of November. I think Karanka sees Fischer ahead of him, he played Stuani on the left against West Ham rather than pick Downing. You can't rule anything out with this manager and group of players because the logic of what they do is often very difficult to understand but I don't see why we'd pick Downing tomorrow night unless lots of players are unfit for some reason.

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Maybe downing has shown more desire, determination or actually impressed AK positively with his mindset after he decided to stay and fight for the cause. It's probably none of that but in all this turmoil I suppose they is something AK would actually appreciate.

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