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Need to take the game to them.  Don't really have any other option.  For me - 

Esson

Raven Warren Meekings Williams

Draper Tansey

Doran Christie Roberts

Foran

Subs - Fon Williams, Devine, Lopez, Wedderburn, Polworth, Horner, Tremarco*

*If Tremarco is injured, bring Brown into the squad.

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I agree with that selection and the reason for it. 

Have I missed something but is Vincent injured too?

Edited by Row S
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Definitely start with Roberts if we want any chance of winning this. Prioritize the attack. If we score 2 we can afford to let one in as we go through on away goals. 

 

Oh and get Esson back in. Nothing against williams but its a mistake throwing him in at the deep end without getting to know his defenders yet

Edited by lightlamp2
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They're a very diminutive, skinny team. Even their keeper looks like he would lose an arm wrestle with Willie Collum.

Foran could do some damage with the right service. I would even consider sticking Gary Warren up top.  

Edited by AlexJones
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We should prioritise getting to 60 minutes at 0-0, which may mean starting Wedderburn again, and then go for it from there. I would save one of Foran and Roberts to come on at that point to provide fresh legs in the heat.

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Is 5-3-2 an option?  Something along these lines - 

Esson

Raven Devine Warren Meekings Williams

Tansey Draper Christie

Foran Lopez

Have three centre-back in order to keep the back door locked and have Raven and Williams as the rampaging wing-back.  Have a strong front two in Foran and Lopez to keep the pressure on the back four, with Doran and Roberts on the bench to come on and maintain the pressure towards the end of the game.  The comment about Astra having a fairly weak defence is an interesting one.  From what I saw, they're defence was solid and organised, but by nowhere near the biggest.  Perhaps a more direct approach with Foran and Lopez using their strength against them (particularly Foran's leap), could see us break through.

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My thoughts on the Astra defence were similar to Renegades, they closed us down very quickly every time, bar once when from a throw in near the centre of the pitch when a touch from Tansey ( I think)  sent the ball down the wing to send, I think it was Doran, through on an open run from which he had a great opportunity to score. So there are weaknesses there but to breach that defence we need lots of pace and players running into the box continually when we break. 

I don't think Foran is ready yet to start the game but definitely needs to be on if we haven't scored by the first 15mins of the second half. 

Our own defence was good, however much as I like big Drapes in there perhaps Wedderburn could be the better option for the away leg. Referees have a habit of picking on Draper for the slightest bit of contact.

Fon Williams definitely was not happy with the 'wall' and looked distracted as the kick was taken, a slight timing error or late sighting caused the mishap not sure which but he did get his hand to what was a very good strike. I don't place too much blame on him. Incidentally nobody in the wall jumped as I can remember, they seemed flat footed, something to learn there.

We can still win our way through to the next round, a one nil lead for the home leg can be quite scary and they will be conscious of that.

Wouldn't surprise me if they changed tactics and go for a quick goal to seal the tie.

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I would go with the opening post X1 but it looks like Williams will be in goal. I can also see the logic in starting with five at the back but that really weakens our midfield and is a very difficult system to get out of, especially if you concede. We are strong enough defensively with the back four plus Tansey and Draper. Width of Doran, guile of Roberts, running and attacking support of Christie sounds good. Reckon that we will go for broke and play Foran up front. We will certainly be dangerous from dead ball situations and the Europeans do not like the long throw in scenario either. Any progress is however strongly dependent on our defence being solid, 100% concentration and no stupid fouls. That is difficult to do pre-season but the incentive of the Hammers must also come in to play. I actually have a good feeling about this.

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I've never been a particularly big fan of Doran on the left.  His cutting inside and long range shooting isn't the best and I much prefered him how Butcher was using him at the end of his tenure, on the right swinging crosses in.  Chances are on Thursday we'll be going with Williams and left back again.  With that in mind (should we play 4-2-3-1), surely Roberts would be a far better choice at left wing.  As he can play at left back as well, he'll provide more cover on the left for when Williams goes forward than Doran does, as well as allowing to stretch the play far wider.  Perhaps our best bet as well of scoring in Romania could be from range as well.  That's another reason for playing Roberts IMO.

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Putting this here might be the wrong place BUT Astra were beaten 1 - 5 tonight.

Hope the Club is getting hold of a video showing how the Targu Mures  goals came about, having said that Astra may have fielded a weakened Team in preparation for Thursday so I wont get too excited over that.

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Yogi confirming in today's P&J that James Vincent and Carl Tremarco will definitely miss the Astra game. Probably no surprise, but at least we now know for certain.

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As per post one, although whether Foran is ready to start a game I'm not sure - maybe have to keep with Lopez, or given his size Wedderburn, could he win in the air and hold the ball up for Christie, Roberts and Doran to run in onto knock downs? Astra could go at us and have us pinned back so a big strong player to hold the ball and allow us to break would be an option - much like Ofere did for us last season at times

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As per post one, although whether Foran is ready to start a game I'm not sure - maybe have to keep with Lopez, or given his size Wedderburn, could he win in the air and hold the ball up for Christie, Roberts and Doran to run in onto knock downs? Astra could go at us and have us pinned back so a big strong player to hold the ball and allow us to break would be an option - much like Ofere did for us last season at times

From what i have seen so far. Lopez has no chance of scoring

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Going from the highlights on the other thread of the game yesterday, we need to get the ball forward, as well as getting crosses swung in.  Players like Foran and Lopez should have no trouble beating those defenders in the air.  An emphasis on ball retention would be a waste of time IMO.  Go a bit more direct, get in Astra's faces and try and break through them, not play through them.  Will Yogi do this?  Hmmm not sure.

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They will sit in and time waste.

____________Esson

______Devine Meekings Warren

Raven___________________Williams

               Draper Tansey

Doran_  Christie______ Roberts

Formation will change a few times anyway with the heat, Wedderburn and Sanchez up front and pepper them with long balls.

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