Straight to it / brief one this…
Predicted line-up, subs and outcome…
4-5-1 come 4-2-3-1 come 4-3-3:
Hart between the sticks, of course, but ahead of him a few changes I think.
Kolarov is back from a small injury issue picked up for his country and coloured by our manager’s wishes, I’m guessing of course, to both give ever-present Bacary Sagna a rest and to, similarly, give Pablo Zabaleta a little more ‘game time’ following his fairly lengthy lay-off and ahead of the derby on Sunday; Aleks should get straight back into action on the left after training with no issues in the last few days. Facing Spanish opposition I’m going for Otamendi to ‘get the nod’ over Mangala; Vinny to partner the ex-Valencia man in the middle of defence.
‘Same as’ in the middle of midfield I think (not much choice in some ways with injuries) and likewise ahead of that; the same attacking trio of midfielders / wingers behind Bony, who fired-in a brace at the weekend.
A bench lacking firepower is a little concerning – although on our Champions League ‘B list’ we do have forwards Thierry Ambrose and Aaron Nemane to ‘pull from’ should we wish…apparently.
Anyway, we do have the newly-hair-cutted Samir Nasri as the main creative change-option; a player who, not for the first time, needs to find his way back into the team and into some form. Brandon Barker might be the other ‘threat’ going forward; the rest are very much of the ‘defensive ilk’ and so we need to get the job done with the first 11 really.
Notable absences: Gael Clichy (injured), Fabian Delph (injured), David Silva (injured), Kelechi Iheanacho (not eligible) and Sergio Aguero (injured).
In addition [to the main, Champions League squad] each club is entitled to register an unlimited number of players on List B during the season. These are players born on or after 11 January 1994 and has been eligible to play for the club concerned for any uninterrupted period of two years since his 15th birthday by the time he is registered with UEFA. Players aged 16 may be registered on List B if they have been registered with the participating club for the previous two years without interruption.
‘B list’ of players is here.
Result? Domestically Sevilla haven’t had the best of starts and sit 13th in a league of 20 after 2 wins, 3 draws and 3 defeats. But that’ll count for nothing in the Champions League tonight and so expect a close and sometimes frightening encounter.
I use the word “frightening” because I was going to plump for a frustrating home draw at first…but don’t worry I’m changing it! I’m changing it to a home win (with a wobble or two).