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Boro vs. Ipswich (A) 2-2 (Downing, Bamford)


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For all Fulham's plaudits, they have only won once more than Villa and scored six more goals. Either would be very tough over two legs and I'm not sure there is a massive amount in it...

 

One thing to take into account is that 40,000 home fans in Villa Park will be a much more hostile second leg than Craven Cottage where we can bring 5,000 away fans and dominate the tepid home support. It can be a factor for players on big occasions.

 

The point is that they were around the bottom half at the midway point. They're to only team not to have lost in the second half of the season. Going from matchday 23 onwards, the form table looks like this:

 

1st - Fulham - 59 points

2nd - Wolves - 48

---------------------------------

3rd - Villa - 46

4th - Boro - 43

5th - Millwall - 43

6th - Cardiff - 42

 

Fulham are, on current form, far and away the best side in the Championship - only their consistency was missing in the first half of he season. That's well and truly there now...

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To be honest I'd prefer to play Villa in the semis and Fulham in the final rather than the other way around. Villa have a lot of big game experience in their ranks which I think would help them in a final. Whereas our players are more experienced promotion winners comparted to Fulhams and I think in a one off game we can exploit their fragility.

 

Villa would definitely be favourites to beat us in the semis, but I always prefer to be the underdog!

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The 3rd place team very rarely gets through the playoffs, so I really don’t fear Fulham at all.

 

That’s a myth.

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.skysports.com/amp/football/news/11095/10275474/football-league-play-offs-is-third-place-a-curse-or-is-that-a-myth

 

It also shows that 5th place in the Championship is the second most likely team to win the playoffs, a Tony Pulis masterclass in statistics and tactics  :cheese:

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For all Fulham's plaudits, they have only won once more than Villa and scored six more goals. Either would be very tough over two legs and I'm not sure there is a massive amount in it...

 

One thing to take into account is that 40,000 home fans in Villa Park will be a much more hostile second leg than Craven Cottage where we can bring 5,000 away fans and dominate the tepid home support. It can be a factor for players on big occasions.

 

The point is that they were around the bottom half at the midway point. They're to only team not to have lost in the second half of the season. Going from matchday 23 onwards, the form table looks like this:

 

1st - Fulham - 59 points

2nd - Wolves - 48

---------------------------------

3rd - Villa - 46

4th - Boro - 43

5th - Millwall - 43

6th - Cardiff - 42

 

Fulham are, on current form, far and away the best side in the Championship - only their consistency was missing in the first half of he season. That's well and truly there now...

 

I knew they'd probably be the top team in the 2nd half but goodness me, the difference in points is staggering. 1 point greater than Wolves' overall lead at the top of the division. Further outlines my desire for Cardiff to muck it up and for Fulham to go up automatically.

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For all Fulham's plaudits, they have only won once more than Villa and scored six more goals. Either would be very tough over two legs and I'm not sure there is a massive amount in it...

 

One thing to take into account is that 40,000 home fans in Villa Park will be a much more hostile second leg than Craven Cottage where we can bring 5,000 away fans and dominate the tepid home support. It can be a factor for players on big occasions.

 

The point is that they were around the bottom half at the midway point. They're to only team not to have lost in the second half of the season. Going from matchday 23 onwards, the form table looks like this:

 

1st - Fulham - 59 points

2nd - Wolves - 48

---------------------------------

3rd - Villa - 46

4th - Boro - 43

5th - Millwall - 43

6th - Cardiff - 42

 

Fulham are, on current form, far and away the best side in the Championship - only their consistency was missing in the first half of he season. That's well and truly there now...

 

Hmm fair enough.. didn't realise their upturn in form was quite that sharp. We are unfortunately relying on Reading to take points off Cardiff for Fulham to get 2nd... as Reading are truly abysmal.

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I wouldn't spend too much time thinking about who we want to play or might play etc. We'll end up with whoever we end up with. Making sure we were involved was the main thing. We're going to need to play well regardless of who we play. If we do that then we'll have a shot, if we don't then we probably won't whoever we're up against.

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Yes, I agree CT.

I also don't think that Pulis fielding a weaker XI is necessarily him wanting to lose in order to finish 6th, as some have suggested. Seeing as we won't want to be fined by swapping out the entire starting team, and seeing as our squad is so small that we couldn't really do that anyway, we'll still have a team out that should be too good for a average Ipswich side. Then, even if we did lose, Derby would still have to win by a few goals.

 

I'd imagine Pulis and his coaches are already doing prep work for playing Villa, seeing as it's 95% probable that we'll be playing them

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I certainly wouldn't see resting players as trying to finish 6th. I can't even fathom why we'd want to do that. Over the last 10 games, we either play the 6th form team by turning up and getting the point/s we need to ensure a 5th place finish. Or we risk playing the form team of the division by aiming to play the 5th form team if 2 games that we have no control over go our way?

 

I'd absolutely rather Cardiff be in the play-offs than Fulham. However, as the past 10 games shows, there is really very little between Cardiff and Villa. Why we'd want to risk playing Fulham and face potentially having to beat them at Craven Cottage is utterly beyond me.

 

Having said all that, I don't want to see us resting players. They don't need a rest in my opinion, they'll have a whole 'nother week's rest if they sit out this one... they need momentum. I want us to go out on our final day and thrash this Ipswich side with our best team, really give our play-off opposition something to be concerned about when they come to the Riverside in another week's time.

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Well said Wilson, momentum , that is the word, we have it and we need to keep it going into the playoffs. We also seem to have found our best team and formation at the right time so start with that and when we are three up then think of subbing players. I would settle for a 7 -6 aggregate win against Villa in the semi just like Liverpool last night, what a couple of games they were

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From Pulis' remarks at his presser this morning, I'd be very surprised if there weren't at least 3 or 4 changes from last saturday's XI

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