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West Ham (A) Sun 11/04/21 @ 14:05

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20 minutes ago, Deeg67 said:

I'll believe DP actually starts when they blow the damn whistle, "reliable" or not.  But it would be small consolation for going 5 at the back again, at least.

Why shouldn’t Praet start. He got 90 mins with Belgium did the? Have I missed something?

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DP would be ideal for today’s game, with the omission of rice getting an extra body in MF is perhaps not a bad idea. Biggest game of the season this for me, could set up a grandstand finish for us.... Chelsea are turning up the heat, ideally we want to be done and dusted by then! 
 

I fancy us today, I think we will get points in all of our next 5 games and by United potentially have it in the bag. 

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Big game this. hope we do the business and put in a top 4 display. Despite their injury problems they will be up for it too and looking to put down their own marker. It is going to be a hard game and due to their missing players, despite being the home side, i think they will sit deep and try to frustrate us and hit us on the break.

We need to be patient and not let it get to us. I fancy JV to bag today, and if we get the first goal, then we will go on to win as they will have to come out a bit more and that will suit us.

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11 minutes ago, Stuntman_Mike said:

Feeling tense about this one now it's arrived. 

Expecting to concede from a corner and Lingard to score if he's fit.

I'm going 2-2 which wouldn't be the end of the world.

I’d take that . I just don’t want to see us fannying about inviting the opposition to score then conceding to someone like Dawson in the 65th minute and then start playing 

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11 hours ago, StevieLynex said:

If Brendan goes, I'll back you for the job, based on the comments above

I’m basically smithy on comic relief a few years back but with a slightly smaller belly! 

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20 minutes ago, WigstonWanderer said:

Why shouldn’t Praet start. He got 90 mins with Belgium did the? Have I missed something?

Because the evidence of past experience is that Rodgers almost never starts him in a meaningful game if he has healthy alternatives?

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22 hours ago, sdb said:

When you're in 3rd, 5 points clear, have just lost £67 million, need to renew a load of lucrative contracts and after throwing away an almost impossible lead the season before, yes. 

 

We need a winning mentality this time around. However hard that is for seasoned city fans (like myself).

 

Before the season started, no, 5th would be seen as an outstanding campaign with almost zero jet spend. But the stakes are massive now and champions league revenue could significantly affect the next chapter in the clubs history. 

 

Get it done boys.

..I would think that would help with the finances greatly!!!

 

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Come on lads let's do this. Go out there and put down a marker, we're better than them.

 

Defeat really isn't an option. If we were to lose then we're more than likely to be outside of the top 4 (for the first time this season) by the time we play our next PL game.

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1 hour ago, adam95581 said:

We need to not lose this much more than we need to win it. Psychologically the demons could return if we lose today..

I'm totally relaxed about it. 

 

We're a really good side. I trust the process that, generally, teams end up - more or less -  where they deserve. 

 

We'll end up somewhere between 2nd and 6th this season, injuries permitting

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41 minutes ago, volpeazzurro said:

This sitting back in the first half could have cost us dearly on a number of occasions this season already but we've been very lucky and instead of being two or three goals down got away with it. Having 'eventually' changed formation in the second halves we've improved dramatically at times and scraped the win. Whilst I didn't see the whole match, you have to take your hat off to Leeds yesterday because with a little bit of drive and ambition they pulled off a win with 10 men against the team we tamely sat back against last week. If you think you're good enough for top four and Champions League football you have to show far more fight and endeavour than that performance even if you subsequently lose. Instructions and mindset come from the manager, he too has to reflect fight and ambition.

Totally agree with all of this, 

We seem to have rode our luck a lot in our starts / first halves this season. 

Prefer us today to hit the ground running,    a faint heart never won a fair lady. 

I think their injuries will effect them more than ours will effect us. 

Defo need to score first

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Not sure whether it’s season defining, we can lose today and win the next 4 quite comfortably but we don’t want to be putting any extra pressure on ourselves whenever possible. 
 

if we do lose, I hope we come away unlucky having played reasonably well. Have we come away from any defeat this season thinking we have been unlucky? We are utterly dreadful whenever we lose. 
 

I think it will be a draw. 

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Last time they walked over us in the middle of the park. As the old cliche goes, win the midfield battle you often win the match. 
 

No Rice, Ndidi back and Praet there gives us a good chance of doing so. It’s just whether we can get more from the wing backs as we need some creativity from them. 

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3 hours ago, Babylon said:

One of my biggest issues with the Man City performance, was the same as my issue with our overly cautious setups at times last season. I felt then that the lack of trust shown in our own abilities contributed to a lack of belief in ourselves in the end and that played a part in our slide.

Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Man U wouldn’t have gone into the game with such a lack of confidence in themselves that they sit back and act like a punch bag for 90 minutes, so why do we?

That's the key issue - self-belief and the confidence arising from that. The Liverpool of the eighties (particularly under Dalglish) had incredible belief in their ability to win matches, even if they appeared to be second-best during the game. They'd have the knack of scoring late on to clinch games. City don't have that at this time. That could be down to several factors, but it needs remedying. I see that confidence to some extent in Manchester City, yet they rely on technical skill and dubious gamesmanship. As we saw yesterday, they can be outthought tactically and held by a determined defence.

If City score early on,  then it appears to release the level of play they are capable of. However, Rodgers seems to set them up to contain, whilst hoping for an opportunity up front. It allows opposing teams time and freedom to introduce their own game plan. The players have had to deal with exceptional changes to the line-up this season, yet they still find themselves high achievers. So, is Rodger's caution and inflexibility the cause of what appears to be timidity and caution amongst the team? It's not a case of who the opposition is and why their tactics have succeeded - we've lost to teams we should not have lost to - on paper. We have technique in abundance.

The real battle is always for an early psychological dominance in any contest, and that requires self-belief. The other factors are patience and resilience. It's ok to soak up pressure if you're constantly prepared to spring into attack the moment it's possible, but I didn't see that energy at all last Saturday.

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4 hours ago, Babylon said:

One of my biggest issues with the Man City performance, was the same as my issue with our overly cautious setups at times last season. I felt then that the lack of trust shown in our own abilities contributed to a lack of belief in ourselves in the end and that played a part in our slide.


Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Man U wouldn’t have gone into the game with such a lack of confidence in themselves that they sit back and act like a punch bag for 90 minutes, so why do we?

 

Now we managed to do well sitting deeper this season and countering against some of the bigger teams. When it’s done well with a bit of ambition mixed in I have no issue, you expect to defend for long periods without the ball. 
 

I just hope we can shake of that negativity and go into the game with belief in our abilities and not overly worrying about them.

To be fair though, Arsenal have been beaten by them three times this year. Man Utd have beaten them once in three attempts. Liverpool haven't beaten them and neither have Chelsea (although only played them once). 

 

That same cautious approach led to a 5-2 victory over them away from home, you can forgive them for trying the same sort of approach. This time however, they were ready for it and Pep found a way to match it. 

 

Sometimes you just have to accept that there was no beating them on that day, wether you go all out or are more reserved. 

 

 

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