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Tom

Boro v Everton (h) 0-0

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After a sour 2017 in the league that has garnered just 3 points so far, Boro came away with yet another bitter taste in the mouth after Harry Kane ensured there would be no joy from White Hart Lane for the boys in red. 

Everton, meanwhile, tasted sweet victory in a 9-goal thriller, with Romulu Lukaku turning fantasy leagues the world over on their head. The blues look to be back on form after a sticky patch. They will be confident coming to the Riverside.

 

Will they hammer the home side? Or will they manage to fudge it up and provide some relief for our goal shy heroes?

 

epsPv4X.jpg  

 

WHAT's IN AITOR'S GOODY BAG?

 

Valdés

Barragan

Chambers

Gibson

Fabio

Clayton

De Roon

Guedioura

Adama

Gastón

Negredo

 

Quite what a week in the warm is going to do to prepare us for a nippy February afternoon by the Tees, I don't know. But in the past, Karanka's retreats to Spain have preceded decent performances, so let him crack on.

George Friend and Ramirez should both be in contention for this, but I think that Fabio's performances keep him in the team, especially if Friend isn't 100%. Gaston has to come in if he trains this week. Downing and Stuani were both pretty ineffective against Spurs, and I don't think it's any coincidence that his absence from the team has resulted in a dearth of goals from a side that were already struggling.

Guedioura has not been signed as a reserve, and will come in for Forshaw, who's performances have ranged from 'forgettable' to 'awful' in recent times. 

Adama has to start, even after a tough afternoon at White Hart Lane, and Negredo remains our best chance of making something out of nothing, as we saw when de Roon very nearly snatched something late on.

 

Prediction: 2-1 If Gaston plays, 1-1 if he doesn't    

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Friend for Barragan, other than agree with your team. This game is massive. We need to pick up a result from somewhere to halt the slide. Everton are head and shoulders above us all over the pitch so we will have to be at our very best to pick up anything. I'm worried about Lukaku. Hopefully the warm weather training camp in Benidorm works wonders and we come out all guns blazing for the rest of the season.

 

Hoping for a victory but think Everton will be too strong for us. 1-1 or a narrow defeat by a 1 goal margin.

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Surely after watching Bernardo struggle with Carrol, Rondom it's time for Dani to play!!

 

If Chambers is staying out on the right, then I agree. But I'd play him at CB if we have full backs available.

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Good opening write up Tom. Amusing.

 

I largely agree with your line up, but I don't think we'll see all three of Gaston, Adama and Guerdioura starting.

 

I think Chambers looks decent coming forward when he's playing RB, but gaps opening up behind him. I would definitely rather seem him at CB.

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I'd prefer Chambers over Barragan and Fabio over Chambers at Right Back. Ayala is still the best centre half at the club, but he's not mates with Karanka so he's unlikely to play. Whatever happens Espinosa should not be starting. It's good to have genuine options somewhere in our team.

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Bernardo to actually score for toffee - an own goal and we lose 0-1.

 

If Leicester and Swansea draw (quite possible) and Hull, Palace or Sunderland win (very possible) and we lose (extremely possible) we'll be in the bottom three come 5:00pm Saturday.

 

#rivalswatch

***nal v Hull City (go Gooners)

Sunderland v Southampton (go Saints)

Stoke City v Crystal Palace (go Berahino...)

Swansea City v Leicester City (hard to say what's the best result)

 

Hope we go with that team Tom - ideally a good performance from a rejuvenated Ramirez to give us hope.

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Bernardo to actually score for toffee - an own goal and we lose 0-1.

 

If Leicester and Swansea draw (quite possible) and Hull, Palace or Sunderland win (very possible) and we lose (extremely possible) we'll be in the bottom three come 5:00pm Saturday.

 

#rivalswatch

***nal v Hull City (go Gooners)

Sunderland v Southampton (go Saints)

Stoke City v Crystal Palace (go Berahino...)

Swansea City v Leicester City (hard to say what's the best result)

 

Hope we go with that team Tom - ideally a good performance from a rejuvenated Ramirez to give us hope.

 

Big Swansea win for me. Swansea are mid table on 'Last-6' and 'Last-10' current form:

 

http://www.soccerstats.com/formtable.asp?league=england

 

I think it is better if Leicester's confidence stays low.

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I'd prefer Chambers over Barragan and Fabio over Chambers at Right Back. Ayala is still the best centre half at the club, but he's not mates with Karanka so he's unlikely to play. Whatever happens Espinosa should not be starting. It's good to have genuine options somewhere in our team.

 

No he's not. Gibson is head and shoulders above what we last saw from Ayala.

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He's not "head and shoulders" above Ayala, but there's not a lot between them granted.

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To be honest , we can criticise a lot of things about AK but the one thing I wouldn't question is his choice in defence as he must see things in training which tells him Ayala stays on the bench. Have to admit I thought he would be the main man over Gibbo this year but what do I know!

 

Agree that if at all possible we need to get Ramirez and Traore on the pitch together but only if Gaston's head is straight. Then again this maybe the time for him to show AK what a great No 10 he thinks he is. If he plays as a 10 then I think Downing plays on the left, but if Gaston is out left then the new lad might be worth a shout.

 

I am going for a very nervous 2-1 win but in reality we are playing an Everton team in good form so it might have to be just a point.

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I'd say it's difficult to judge who is better between Gibson and Ayala right now. If you asked last season, it would have undoubtedly been Ayala. But Gibson has improved a LOT this year, much more assured, best defender we've seen play for us this season. Ayala hasn't played enough, his last appearance he got sent off and I'm not convinced he made the right decision the way he got across his man. Though I'll still say he's above Espinosa based on what we've seen of him, I couldn't make a case for him to being better than Gibson right now. If I had to make a decision, I'd say Gibson.

 

Gibson needs Chambers back alongside him, that much is clear. If Friend is fit, I can see that happening. I hope that since Fabio's spell in the side, Aitor isn't still thinking Barragan is a better option at right-back. It's Fabio all day long and we all know it. Our most promising attack consists of having all of Friend, Fabio, Ramirez and Traore in the side in my opinion. If we can put that together against Everton, I think we might have a chance. I'd forgive Stuani for Traore assuming he comes on later in the game if the score isn't in our favour.

 

My team for the game, if all are available and in the right state of mind:

 

Valdes

Fabio Chambers Gibson Friend

Guedioura Clayton De Roon

Traore Negredo Ramirez

 

Big game for Guedioura if he does come in as I think he should. Still got a lot to prove for me and at the very least, Forshaw needs both a break and a reason to work harder to stay in the side.

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One has done it in the premier league all season, the other has looked slow and ponderous at this level and in his last appearance got himself needlessly sent off. It's an easy choice for me.

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I'd prefer Chambers over Barragan and Fabio over Chambers at Right Back. Ayala is still the best centre half at the club, but he's not mates with Karanka so he's unlikely to play. Whatever happens Espinosa should not be starting. It's good to have genuine options somewhere in our team.

 

No he's not. Gibson is head and shoulders above what we last saw from Ayala.

 

Agree that Gibson's probably our best centre half. Gibson/Ayala or Gibson/Chambers partnerships both very good.

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