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Boro v Stoke City (a) 0-0

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BeardySmog Matchday Solutions

Presents

Stoke vs Middlesbrough

Kick Off - 5.30pm

The Bet365 Stadium

3rd November 2018

 

Intro.

After the distraction of the cup our attention immediately turns to league action and a trip to Stoke in front of the Sky cameras (AGAIN! I feel like they are confusing us with Leeds). With no cup match for Stoke and a bug sweeping through the Boro camp this week they should indeed be the favourites for this one but football is a funny old game (I honestly thought Palace would beat us and I'd not be doing this thread).

 

Last Game

Boro 1-0 Palace (Carabao Cup 4th Round)

A wonder goal from Wing and (another) resolute defensive performance was enough to see off Premier League Palace. Can we carry our cup form into the league? (I really hope so).

 

 

Bristol City 0-1 Stoke.

A good away win for Stoke here with a goal from Darren Fletcher in the first half. Not really followed Stoke too much this season but I know they'll be disappointed languishing in 13th spot in the league and will be wanting to push on and try to impact the promotion picture.

 

Oh.. He used to play for us...

There are no former Boro players in the Stoke ranks (probably why they've been struggling) but there have been one or two over the years to don both jerseys. Defensive titan Robert Huth left Boro for Stoke and our long throw wizard Ryan Shotton was handed his Stoke debut by Tony Pulis when he managed the Potters.

 

Beard Watch

One or two quality examples of facial fuzz in the Stoke 1st team squad which is nice to see. But the one that impressed me the most was that of Erik Pieters, nice volume and style, good work.

 

Special mention also to the four Boro players who will be supporting facial fur throughout the month of November for charity. Clayts and Dimi are both growing fancy moustaches whilst Johnny Howson and Flinty will be growing beards. Nice to see.

 

The tip of the Beard

 

Stoke 7/5

Draw 11/5

Middlesbrough 2/1

 

 

The bookies (SkyBet) see Stoke as slight favourites for this one (as do I) but odds of 2/1 on a Boro win might be tempting for punters.

 

Also tempting may be my BeardyTip Boro to win and BTTS which has been boosted on SkyBet to 13/2. Go on.. I dare you.

 

View from the other side..

 

http://oatcakefanzine.proboards.com/thread/283505/stoke-city-middlesboring#

 

"Middlesboring" I love it.

 

Pre Match Questions

Does Wing deserve a chance to show what he can do in the league?

What is your starting XI?

Will a defeat put pressure of any kind on Pulis or is he immune to that where Gibson is concerned?

What is your favourite kind of pottery? (I like a good stoneware plate myself).

 

 

Prediction

I have been guilty of very negative thoughts with regards to Boro and our performances recently but for some strange and unknown reason I'm feeling like we are going to win this 2-1 with goals from Wonder Wing and Flinty and a late consolation goal from Benik Afobe.

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Good OP, Row Z.

 

Tough game to predict this one. Stoke are very hit and miss. A bit like us under Monk. I don't think it's going to be a classic though. Probably a very tight and start-stop game with no real flow to it. One goal will probably settle it or 0-0. I hope it's going to be us that will nick the one goal.

 

I have no idea how Pulis is going to approach this. Stoke are there for the taking if we have ambition, but I think he'll take the cautious approach with wingback, clayton, besic, howson in the middle and Downing behind Britt. At least hope that Wing is on the bench with Tav and only one of Gestede/Hugill on there.

 

We looked much better against Derby when we switched to 4-3-3 though so that's certainly a bit of a conundrum for Pulis. also with McQueen injured and Ayala suspended Pulis wouldn't have a defender on the bench if he decides to go with wingbacks and 3 CD.

 

My team would be.

 

-----------Randolph-----------

-McNair-Flint-Fry-Friend-

--Howson-Clayton-Besic--

--Downing--------------Tav--

-----------Braithwaite---------

 

Plenty of movement in there and pace up front.

 

Bench: Dimi, Batth, Wing, Saville, Hugill, Britt, Fletcher

 

Plenty of options on that bench. I thought Fletcher did really well coming on against Palace in a wide position. Great defensive work and had some strength to hold onto the ball. Certainly better than Gestede who seems incapable of moving.

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Wow, the Stoke fans on that forum really hate Pulis. Almost as much as WBA fans do...

 

Ayala is a big miss and several players looked a lot happier once the formation changed last game so I hope we keep it simple with a back 4.

 

I think we've looked a lot better with Gestede on the pitch last two games. I know he's a donkey, can't finish etc... but he's a focal point and unsettles defences. We don't play to Britt's strengths - whats the point in playing him?

 

Tav and Fletcher should come off the bench with pace to stretch the game. Howson, Besic, Downing are all auditioning to not be replaced by Wing - as right now he's got a better shot, delivery, and eye for a pass than any of them. Only reason I wouldn't start him is he may be knackered from last night.

 

-----------Randolph------------

-McNair-Flint-Fry-Friend---

--Howson-Clayton-Besic---

---Downing----Braithwaite-

------------Gestede------------

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Wow, the Stoke fans on that forum really hate Pulis. Almost as much as WBA fans do...

Ayala is a big miss and several players looked a lot happier once the formation changed last game so I hope we keep it simple with a back 4.

 

I think we've looked a lot better with Gestede on the pitch last two games. I know he's a donkey, can't finish etc... but he's a focal point and unsettles defences. We don't play to Britt's strengths - whats the point in playing him?

 

Tav and Fletcher should come off the bench with pace to stretch the game. Howson, Besic, Downing are all auditioning to not be replaced by Wing - as right now he's got a better shot, delivery, and eye for a pass than any of them. Only reason I wouldn't start him is he may be knackered from last night.

 

-----------Randolph------------

-McNair-Flint-Fry-Friend---

--Howson-Clayton-Besic---

---Downing----Braithwaite-

------------Gestede------------

 

Shows that taking you up and keeping you up won't stop the Pulis hate. Out of all the teams, i thought Stoke would be the ones to like him...

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Can see something like this being the starting lineup:

 

---------------Randolph------------

-McNair--Flint---Batth--Friend---

--Howson--Clayton--Besic--------

-Downing--Hugill---Braithwaite-

 

Hopefully Wing and Tav make the bench at least, with Ayala and McQueen out there should be room on the bench. Hugill needs to get into some scoring form, his overall play is pretty good. The same goes for Braithwaite who has always been a bit streaky.

 

I can see Batth being given his first league start after a decent evening and with Ayala suspended, they seem pretty similar. And for god sake lets start putting some of these chances away. I saw some stat on Saturday like 50 shots and no goals in those last 4 home league matches...

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With a sickness bug going through the squad I won't even try to predict a team for Saturday hopefully they can get the players affected isolated from those not hit by it

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Can see something like this being the starting lineup:

 

---------------Randolph------------

-McNair--Flint---Batth--Friend---

--Howson--Clayton--Besic--------

-Downing--Hugill---Braithwaite-

 

Hopefully Wing and Tav make the bench at least, with Ayala and McQueen out there should be room on the bench. Hugill needs to get into some scoring form, his overall play is pretty good. The same goes for Braithwaite who has always been a bit streaky.

 

I can see Batth being given his first league start after a decent evening and with Ayala suspended, they seem pretty similar. And for god sake lets start putting some of these chances away. I saw some stat on Saturday like 50 shots and no goals in those last 4 home league matches...

 

Would agree with all of this.

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With a sickness bug going through the squad I won't even try to predict a team for Saturday hopefully they can get the players affected isolated from those not hit by it

 

Anyone know who was affected last night

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With a sickness bug going through the squad I won't even try to predict a team for Saturday hopefully they can get the players affected isolated from those not hit by it

 

Anyone know who was affected last night

 

Gestede

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With a sickness bug going through the squad I won't even try to predict a team for Saturday hopefully they can get the players affected isolated from those not hit by it

 

Anyone know who was affected last night

 

No names were given but some players were sent home from the Riverside before kickoff 

 

In that sort of environment, it's very hard to stop it spreading it's time like this where you could do with a 2-week break so they could shut down for 3 or 4 days to clear it up

 

Still, it may give some of the kids a chance if some of the senior players can't make it on Saturday

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My starting line up would be -

 

.....................Randolph..........................

.............Fry...Flint......Bath.................

.................Howson....Clayton................

Braithwaite.......Wing........................Tav

....................Hugill....Britt.........................

 

Btw i know Pulis wont do that.

 

On that Pulis question he was brought in to do a job i believe, not to play pretty football or get the fans excited but to get us back in the prem and keep us there. Pulis will try to do this absolutely ruthlessly his way and if he achieves it fair play, i mean when was last time any other manager was able to do that for us? what you have to hope is that once Gibson realises Pulis has taken us as far as he can if that we part ways peacefully and then hopefully enjoy the next manager in terms of the style of football. I think as boro fans we have got to think of the long game not the short time football style we are watching.

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My starting line up would be -

 

.....................Randolph..........................

.............Fry...Flint......Bath.................

.................Howson....Clayton................

Braithwaite.......Wing........................Tav

....................Hugill....Britt.........................

 

Btw i know Pulis wont do that.

 

On that Pulis question he was brought in to do a job i believe, not to play pretty football or get the fans excited but to get us back in the prem and keep us there. Pulis will try to do this absolutely ruthlessly his way and if he achieves it fair play, i mean when was last time any other manager was able to do that for us? what you have to hope is that once Gibson realises Pulis has taken us as far as he can if that we part ways peacefully and then hopefully enjoy the next manager in terms of the style of football. I think as boro fans we have got to think of the long game not the short time football style we are watching.

 

 

I think you're right... and if the wins are being ground out then fans will accept the pragmatism - which is exactly what was happening in the first part of the season. Many fans will accept crap football as part of a 'long game plan' if we win 1-0 from a corner most weeks. BUT we've won three of the last nine and lots of teams have caught us up. Bar a freak own goal we haven't scored in four home games. Those numbers won't get us top two - and we're not talking a minor blip here, nine games is almost a quarter of a season.

 

It needs to improve soon or we can forget Gibson's long term plan because at least two teams will 100% pull away if we can't start scoring and winning.

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My starting line up would be -

 

.....................Randolph..........................

.............Fry...Flint......Bath.................

.................Howson....Clayton................

Braithwaite.......Wing........................Tav

....................Hugill....Britt.........................

 

Btw i know Pulis wont do that.

 

On that Pulis question he was brought in to do a job i believe, not to play pretty football or get the fans excited but to get us back in the prem and keep us there. Pulis will try to do this absolutely ruthlessly his way and if he achieves it fair play, i mean when was last time any other manager was able to do that for us? what you have to hope is that once Gibson realises Pulis has taken us as far as he can if that we part ways peacefully and then hopefully enjoy the next manager in terms of the style of football. I think as boro fans we have got to think of the long game not the short time football style we are watching.

 

 

I think you're right... and if the wins are being ground out then fans will accept the pragmatism - which is exactly what was happening in the first part of the season. Many fans will accept crap football as part of a 'long game plan' if we win 1-0 from a corner most weeks. BUT we've won three of the last nine and lots of teams have caught us up. Bar a freak own goal we haven't scored in four home games. Those numbers won't get us top two - and we're not talking a minor blip here, nine games is almost a quarter of a season.

 

It needs to improve soon or we can forget Gibson's long term plan because at least two teams will 100% pull away if we can't start scoring and winning.

 

Spot on mate

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I believe this is a very important game for both clubs and both will probably feel that it is a "must not lose" game.

 

With our record when scoring first being so good do teams decide that they must go all out to score first or simply stop us from scoring? Hard to say but with Stoke being the home team I feel that they will have a real go, if allowed, from the off.

 

We seem to be more relaxed away from home and though changes have to be made at the back due to bans, injuries, sickness(do not know who falls into the category) I feel that we could do ourselves a real favour by getting 3 points.

 

Am sure that 2 teams will eventually pull away but with yet another IB coming up it will not be happening for a while.

 

This really is the strangest first third of a season in a long time due to the points others have got and tbh not one team at this time seems to be the best of the crop though Derby and maybe Norwich are beginning to stake a claim.

 

As for Boro well to be honest we are not doing bad ourselves but I think we all feel that we could have been in a much stronger position, however we move on and hope that we take those chances.

 

It's the three points at the end of the day that really counts

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So, back to The League.

 

Randz

 

Paddy Flint Bath Fry Friend

 

Clapton

 

Besic Howson

 

Downing

 

Britt

 

Wanna bet?

 

It should be:

 

Randz

 

Flint Bath Fry

Paddy Downing

Clayton

Wing Besic

Tav

Brait

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