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Boro v Bristol City (A) 1-2 (Magnusson og)

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[align=center]The Robins of Bristol vs. The Lions of Middlesbrough

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Middlesbrough travel to Ashton Gate so as to once again try and establish some top 6 credentials by trying to win against Bristol City.

 

Previous match

 

Middlesbrough suffered a huge set-back at 'Fortress Riverside', masters of their own downfall in a 3-0 loss against perennial underachievers Derby County. Peter Shilton lost his greatest achievement of being the last goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet for Derby in Middlesbrough and Boro lost their way entirely thanks to mistakes, miscommunication, mister Ayala... the list goes on.

 

Highlights

 

Bristol City meanwhile travelled to the KC Stadium and returned home with 3 points despite being 2-0 down within the hour against strugglers Hull. Goals from Aden Flint and top scorer Bobby Reid, both tentatively linked with moves to Boro earlier this year, helped to turn the scoreline around and finished 3-2.

 

Highlights

 

Last time we met

 

Boro were on top of the world the last time they travelled to Ashton Gate. Though having not conceded a goal in over 2 months, leading to Dimi Konstantopolous receiving a well deserved clean sheet record, Bristol City never looked too much like losing the game and ended up grabbing a late winner through the now former Robins striker Wes Burns, completing the only double over Boro that season.

 

Boro team that day (existing in bold): Dimi; Nsue, Ayala, Amorebieta, Friend; Clayton (Forshaw 88'), Leadbitter; Stuani, Downing, Adomah; Kike (Nugent 64')

 

Former player watch

 

Gary O'Neil spent 3 and a half seasons at Middlesbrough between 2007 and 2011. Signed by Gareth Southgate to replace the departing James Morrison to provide width on the right-hand side, it was just as obvious that O'Neil was also not a right-winger as it was with Morrison. He hasn't featured for City since the 22nd August when they beat Watford in the League Cup.

 

Opposition forum input

 

I travelled over to the One Team In Bristol forum to gather some input from Bristol City fans. Bear in mind, this isn't the only thread they are discussing the game! Members were very welcoming.

 

Comments on us are very telling in how they see us. They think our team on paper looks great. The money spent is something they associate with us, though only really to draw greater praise to the work that their manager Lee Johnson is doing. Particularly keen on our strikers and hoping they can keep them quiet. This was probably the most in-depth comment:

 

If you come and try to play nice football I think it'll play in to our hands, we've only really struggled against sides who have come to spoil the game, or played Warnock football. The key man question will probably be fairly unanimously Bobby Reid, an academy product who LJ moved up front from the midfield, and he's scoring goals for fun this season. He's got lots of energy and will look to put pressure on your back 4. Aden Flint and Nathan Baker are another 2 who never really get the praise they deserve. AF is a great threat in the opposition box but he's so solid in the air, with all our players fit I genuinely believe we've one of the best back 4s in the division. NB is properly solid and looking like a bit of a steal from Villa in the summer.

 

Famous Robins

 

See if you can name all the famous Robins in the picture! Grand total of 1 rep point in it for the first with all the correct answers!

 

2cxvswz.jpg

 

Onto the game...

 

I'd still love to go back and try the 4-3-3 for this one, with the following team:

Randolph

Christie Fry Gibson Fabio

Downing Clayton Howson

Bamford Assombalonga Braithwaite

 

I'm going for 2-0 to Bristol City. They came away from a game which they weren't really top dogs in for large periods with 3 points. Back at home, at the ground where we haven't won since December 2011, I don't see anything significant changing. Yet another wake up call for Monk's men.

 

What team and formation would you pick for the game?

What do you predict the score will be?

If you could bring one player from the rest of the division to the club, who would it be?

Which Robin is the greatest Robin of all time?

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As much as I don't rate him, Shotton has to start this game for me. Bristol City are a powerful side and a real threat from set-pieces, as good as Fry might become, he is still young and not physically up to dealing with the likes of Flint IMO. The one thing Shotton does have going for him is size.

 

I think Leadbitter and Howson will come back in, and I'd start Traore, move Downing inside and put Braithwaite on the left. I'd have the fullbacks play deeper to stay compact, it wouldn't surprise me to see Fletcher(LW) or Friend start for a bit of height also.

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As much as I don't rate him, Shotton has to start this game for me. Bristol City are a powerful side and a real threat from set-pieces, as good as Fry might become, he is still young and not physically up to dealing with the likes of Flint IMO. The one thing Shotton does have going for him is size.

 

I think Leadbitter and Howson will come back in, and I'd start Traore, move Downing inside and put Braithwaite on the left. I'd have the fullbacks play deeper to stay compact, it wouldn't surprise me to see Fletcher(LW) or Friend start for a bit of height also.

 

that is exactly what i was thinking we should do.

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Whilst i think we have started to find a formation and style of play that works away from home, leeds apart, I would be tempted to try something a little different.

 

Randolph

 

Christie

Fry

Gibson

Fabio

 

Clayton

Howson

 

Downing

Traore

Braithwaite

 

Britt

 

For this game I like the look of two holding midfielders who NEVER get ahead of the ball. Bristol City have two towering centre backs but they are not very mobile. Crosses into the box would be food and drink for them in my opinion. With this in mind, I would look to sit slightly deeper and encourage their back four to push higher up the pitch thus leaving space in behind for our quicker attackers to take advantage of.

 

Allow our full backs to provide the width when needed. Downing and Christie on the right are doing great. Fabio on the left with another right footed player in Braithwaite may be tricky though. However, I would expect us to enjoy lots of success on the counter as Leeds did when they won 3-0 there a few weeks ago.

 

Braithwaite is very familiar with a left sided attacking role having played there a number of times for Tolouse. Moving him there would allow Traore a free role without defensive responsibilities. When we win the ball back we should just look for him every time. It could be very very effective in this game because of the lck of mobility in Bristol Citys defence.

 

Who knows? We might see Traore excel there and stumble upon a whole new set up. One thing is for certain. Instead of shoehorning players into a formation, Monk may be well advised to utilise the strengths of the players at his disposal.

 

Thoughts on this team and formation?

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If Gestede is fit I'd consider him, for nothing else but to mark Flint on corners. I cant see any of our centre backs being able to handle him.

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If Gestede is fit I'd consider him, for nothing else but to mark Flint on corners. I cant see any of our centre backs being able to handle him.

 

Randolph needs to come and claim everything 8 yards from his goal line. That means the defence are switched on when it comes to Randolph getting blocked. Flint is a monser in the air. Difficult to deal with for any team. Randolph is the best chance for us dealing with that. It is also imperative that we don't give silly free kicks away in our own half and let them have a free delivery into our box. Clark is no slouch in the air either by the way.

 

However, the genius of all tacticians is to use an opponents strength and turn it into their weakness. Whilst both Bristol centre backs are dominant in the air they are not the most mobile. They make Dani Ayala look like Usain Bolt.

 

You would think Monk knows this already though. Wouldn't you? :(

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I'd go;

 

Randolph

Christie

Fry

Gibson

Fabio

Howson

Leadbitter

Traore

Braithwaite

Downing

Assombalonga

 

I'd drum into Traore pre-game that he's due a performance and give him the oppurtunity to put a marker down on that position for the rest of the season, because atm no-one else is taking it.

Fry - still not sure if it's a good idea, but he was playing alright until Norwich mistake, don't fully trust Ayala and Shotton is garbage.

Howson and Leads - to return. Howson no-brainer for me. Leads ahead of Clayton and Forshaw still.

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If Gestede is fit I'd consider him, for nothing else but to mark Flint on corners. I cant see any of our centre backs being able to handle him.

 

Randolph needs to come and claim everything 8 yards from his goal line. That means the defence are switched on when it comes to Randolph getting blocked. Flint is a monser in the air. Difficult to deal with for any team. Randolph is the best chance for us dealing with that. It is also imperative that we don't give silly free kicks away in our own half and let them have a free delivery into our box. Clark is no slouch in the air either by the way.

 

However, the genius of all tacticians is to use an opponents strength and turn it into their weakness. Whilst both Bristol centre backs are dominant in the air they are not the most mobile. They make Dani Ayala look like Usain Bolt.

 

You would think Monk knows this already though. Wouldn't you? :(

 

Yeah hopefully we'll be working on defending set pieces all week, like you say an important part of that is having a strong commanding keeper.

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Nobody's fussed about the Robins! All that work in Paint for nothing! :( :D

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I’d play Traore centrally and Braithwaite left and Downing keeps his successful spot on the right. Traore can then have free reign and no defensive responsibility. Just make himself available for a pass whenever we have the ball. Fry in for Ayala.

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I’d play Traore centrally and Braithwaite left and Downing keeps his successful spot on the right. Traore can then have free reign and no defensive responsibility. Just make himself available for a pass whenever we have the ball. Fry in for Ayala.

 

Great minds!

 

:P

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similar here,  id like to see us try the 42121 (or it could be construed asa 424 iwhen attacking)  with the top 4 in a diamond formation . this would give the extra man (Traore) through the attacking centre .

                                Randolph

Christie.................Fry............Gibson..............Fabio

                  Howson.............Leadbitter

    

   .........................Traore

............Downing...............Braithwaite

        .............Assombalonga

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Randolph

Christie

Fabio

Fry

Gibson

Howson

Leadbitter

Downing

Bamford

Braithwaite

Assombalonga

 

I'd rather not rely on Traore away from home. Bamford starts for me. Howson and Leadbitter come back in. Both are due a performance.

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I'll go with Humpty's team, can't see us getting anything to be honest, just don't have a good feeling about how things are progressing (or not), midfield and left hand side simply don't work for me, we didn't address it, we still haven't, will we ever?

I'm normally positive towards games but for some reason not this one, the Derby game was a kick in the teeth and once again highlighted some serious issues with the team\squad\Manager.

 

Let's hope my negative mood will be much improved on Saturday evening............

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