Thursday, 15 October 2015

Will Eddie change the formation for City match?

I watched the last 20 minutes of the match against Watford wondering if the formation I was seeing would be that which took on Man City in a couple of weeks time. Josh King had just been subbed and Eunan O'Kane had entered the fray, which just left Glenn Murray on his own up front. It was not a usual way for the Cherries to play at home and yet I began to think it was giving Eunan O'Kane match time, and giving the team a session with five in midfield. Ideal preparation for City?

Well when Eddie Howe took his troops up to Anfield he decided not to flood the midfield and kept to his 4-4-1-1. Of course he had Callum Wilson available to him then and sadly he won't have that luxury in the City game. Having seen the Sky Blues rip Newcastle to shreds 6-1 at the Ethihad it would seem wise to come up with a game plan that might attempt to ensure that the Cherries are not similarly overrun. The skill will be to get the balance right. He won't want to stop the attacking qualities of the team from having a chance to give Man City problems and that would mean keeping some pace in the team to quickly support Murray if he does indeed play up front as a lone striker.
Will Stanislas get a recall as part of a pacey five-man midfield?
If he goes this way, don't be surprised to see Junior Stanislas getting a starting role on the left to give more forward energy to the team there, although King could be moved to the left having only played 30 minutes in midweek against Italy for Norway. In the middle there would be a place for Eunan O'Kane to try and stop the runs of Samir Nasri, now that Aguero is expected to be out. O'Kane could effectively try to man-mark like he did with Courtinhio in the Liverpool match. It would mean a lot of work for the three players in the middle with Gosling and Surman likely to partner O'Kane. We could see them alternating when it comes to forward runs to support Glenn Murray, but the main thing is they would have to be in and around Murray to pick up and possession. I also have my fingers crossed that we could see Harry Arter on the bench if his training has gone well this last week and the 60 minutes against a Colchester U21 side may have given him the sharpness Eddie is looking for. 

Man City will be strong out wide though with Stirling and De Bruyne pushing up, and we could see Francis and Daniels holding their positions further back than we are used to. If Man City's wingers don't track back though there is a possibility that the Cherries can get forward in the channels. Somehow, I suspect this is a game where AFCB will have a strong game plan as a point in this match would not only be seen as a success, and it would give the players a tremendous boost in confidence.       

My predicted AFCB line up:
(4-5-1) Boruc, Francis, Cook, Distin, Daniels, Ritchie, Gosling, O'Kane, Surman, Stanislas, Murray

Subs: Federici, Smith, Bennett, Arter, Pugh, Tomlin, King   

No place for Kermorgant for me, unless Tomlin or King has had a knock in training.

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