Friday, 6 November 2015

Who should start against Newcastle Utd?

There has not been many more important games than this one in AFCB's last few years. While it is not the fixture that will see the Cherries either survive or not, it will be a big indicator to whether they have the mental and physical toughness to win against a team that is likely to be in and around the relegation battle come May next year. So who should play in this match?

Starting at the back there is a the choice of keeper and while I believe Adam Federici should continue his time in goal I have a gut feeling that Eddie Howe will turn back to Artur Boruc if he feels his injury is no longer a problem. I don't think it does the team any good to keep swapping and against Southampton I would not hold Federici responsible for either of the goals. I would like to see him catch the ball cleanly, but if he punches the ball away safely he is still doing his job.
Is it time for Junior?
I expect Steve Cook to come back into the side as well if he is feeling up to playing. That would see Francis move back to right back, although he has said in the week that he is happy to continue at centre half. Adam Smith played well against Southampton, but if he does play at right back he must sort his crossing out which was a bit too strong at times and perhaps did not always pick out a Cherries' player to score.

The team needs to be as close to it's normal set up as possible if AFCB are to start better than they did last game. So I see Distin and Daniels keeping their places and Ritchie in midfield. It then gets more tricky. 

I can't see Eddie Howe holding Harry Arter back any longer and he should start if he can add more to the team than Dan Gosling. If Surman is fit again he surely will partner Harry. I am less certain on whether Pugh of Stanislas will start on the left. Pugh has to be more energised if he is to start again and my instinct tells me that Stanislas might just get the vote after his performance at Southampton. The front two still pick themselves as King and Murray at home, but I was impressed with Lee Tomlin when he came on at St Mary's as he looked to do positive things in running at the defence.

The main strategy will surely be to be positive against Newcastle and to play at a fast pace, because Newcastle have been vulnerable against teams that have gone for them straight away. If Sunderland could put three past them at home, AFCB should be looking to do something similar. UTCIAD! 

Sadly I think it maybe Cook that might not make it back in time for this game. Reading between the lines II think Boruc has a chance of making the starting line up. The surprise may be that Stanislas gets the vote ahead of Pugh.

Possible AFCB line up:
Boruc, Smith, Francis, Distin, Daniels, Ritchie, Arter, Surman, Stanislas, King, Murray

Federici, Smith, Bennett, Gosling, Pugh, Tomlin, Rantie

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