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Will we be playing for a draw tomorrow.

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I don''t think we''ll play for a draw, i think we''ll definitely set out not to lose though.

Similar, but quite different at the same time.

*Stares blankly*

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It''s a difficult one really, we are effectively defending a narrow lead over Villa, you would have to say a draw would do and a defeat would be disastrous, but then how do you go about it?

Should we defend and park the bus, it''s more than likely Villa over 90 minutes would break that down at least once. Should we go all out for the win against one of the best counter attacking teams in the league we would quickly get found out if we didn''t take our chances.

Catch 22 you might think. So the answer lies in the middle somewhere. I think we need to play a reasonably attacking team, but one that can retain the ball in good territory. The old addage of attack being the best form of defence comes into play.

I don''t see Xabi Alonso or Beckham in Vilas potential line up and therefore you can assume that as long as the ball is in their half, they won''t score.

There is no doubt that a draw would suit us more than them but that''s not to say that''s what we should be aiming for.

It is a very similar game to the Stoke game last week but the roles are reversed. We can learn from how Stoke played us, they restricted our chances, played ugly and nicked a win.

I think we need to have this for our lineup:

Ruddy - 1st choice and our best player

Whittaker - good engine to get up and down the flanks to match Villas play

Bassong - Beast

R Bennett - best all round replacement for Turner

Garrido - shrewd operator, calm and good set pieces

Tettey - Unit to boss the middle

Johnson - Unit to boss the middle #2

Kamara - great height and ball retention skills

Snodgrass - workrate, set pieces and class

Hoolahan - ball retention, cleverness and desire

Holt - big game player, one of his final chances to prove himself

Bench (used properly this time) of

Bunn - obvious number 2

Martin - versitile and seamlessly fits into the back four but lacks that whittaker engine

Barnett - aerially unstoppable

Howson - looked better recently

Pilkington - provides a bit more directness and goal threat out wide

E Bennett - like above but with more pace and less goals

Becchio - surely about time he got off the mark, needs a better chance to show himself

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Despite my negative views over recent weeks I actually think we might go for the win tomorrow.

My only fear is that Hughton will have watched the 6-1 and decided to play defensively and nick a goal on the break.

Either way, I still think we will lose the game.

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I''m not so sure. Standing at the Emirates before the match and hearing the team announced, the team selected signified a change in my mind away from the ''play for the draw'' approach post-Christmas. This was carried forward to the Reading match. I interpret this as a recognition that the previous strategy was not delivering the required points. I''ll not dwell on Stoke - those few of us which went will wish to forget that as soon as possible. Anyway, I think we''ll take our latterly found more positive approach into Villa and stand a fighting chance of winning. I''ll go 2-1 City. My real fear - and I accept it is a minority position - is that we would continue with the same tactics/formation. But I see positive signs of change. I just hope it''s not too late.

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Hope your right highland. It is a dilemma how to set up against Villa. Need a big game from Jonno me thinks

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Does it make much difference?

 

We have a reasonably sound defence, and uncreative midfield and strikers who are goal-shy.

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Playing for a draw eh?

"It''s a game that we very much want to win - it''s a home game so a chance to get valuable points," he said.

"Villa are on the back of a good result but it''s about concentrating on our strengths. We have a fabulous crowd who will get behind us.

"You have to impose yourself on the game and we''ll be looking to do that on Saturday."- Hughton

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[quote user="Salopian"]

Does it make much difference?

 

We have a reasonably sound defence, and uncreative midfield and strikers who are goal-shy.

[/quote]

And there you have the answer.

We have a forward line who has no shots, probably due to the non-creativity of the midfield. And an overworked defence due to the dreadful distribution of the midfield/defence.

God help us if we go behind.

So, desperately cling on for a draw (if we are lucky!).

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Stop Benteke and you effectively stop Villa, I actually expect him to be shut out of the game. Bit like that league 1 game against Leeds when Beckford was apparently going to tear us a new one.. hard for him to do when he spent the game in the depths of THE DOC''s pocket. I think Bassong will be on him the whole game and Johnson will try and smash him at any oppitunity, hopefully he just doesnt get a look in...Playing for a draw? Nah, we wont want to lose but with survival all but garantted with a win why would we try and do anything else in a home game? It is Wiz isnt it, I just hate this ''I told you so'' attitude... in competion with your fellow fans to come across as the authority on football knowledge at the expense of your own team, you''d rather doom monger so then in the dissapointment of a loss you can still lord that over everyone else to cheer yourself up. Pathetic really.

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[quote user="birchfest"]Stop Benteke and you effectively stop Villa, I actually expect him to be shut out of the game. Bit like that league 1 game against Leeds when Beckford was apparently going to tear us a new one.. hard for him to do when he spent the game in the depths of THE DOC''s pocket. I think Bassong will be on him the whole game and Johnson will try and smash him at any oppitunity, hopefully he just doesnt get a look in...Playing for a draw? Nah, we wont want to lose but with survival all but garantted with a win why would we try and do anything else in a home game? It is Wiz isnt it, I just hate this ''I told you so'' attitude... in competion with your fellow fans to come across as the authority on football knowledge at the expense of your own team, you''d rather doom monger so then in the dissapointment of a loss you can still lord that over everyone else to cheer yourself up. Pathetic really. [/quote][Y]

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[quote user="Salopian"]

Does it make much difference?

 

We have a reasonably sound defence, and uncreative midfield and strikers who are goal-shy.

[/quote]

THIS.

It doesnt matter how "Houghton" sets up- the PLAYERS are not good enough.

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"It doesnt matter how "Houghton" sets up- the PLAYERS are not good enough."

Really? Why bother having a manager, you only need one for transfer windows apparently.

Do you seriously think our squad is not good enough to compete with Villa''s? You''d be quite happy if the manager just puts his best team out and hopes for a win? No thought of tactics, who the opposition is and how they play or what the team have been training this week? because at the end of the day it''s not his fault if we lose, the players aren''t good enough.

Well then Hughton didn''t beat Arsenal and Man U, those inferior players did.

Do you not see your being as hypocritical as those on here blaming Hughton for every little thing and demanding his head?

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[quote user="morty"]You are Wiz and I claim my ten pounds.[/quote]Not Wiz - not enough of the elementary spelling mistakes or self-aggrandisement.  But definitely a poster from previous days who has returned to stir the sh*t.

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[quote user="Vanwink"]Diesperate is the word unfortunately.[/quote]I think that''s the word to use when you''re bursting to play a game of Dungeons and Dragons.

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[quote user="Monty13"]"It doesnt matter how "Houghton" sets up- the PLAYERS are not good enough."

Really? Why bother having a manager, you only need one for transfer windows apparently.

Do you seriously think our squad is not good enough to compete with Villa''s? You''d be quite happy if the manager just puts his best team out and hopes for a win? No thought of tactics, who the opposition is and how they play or what the team have been training this week? because at the end of the day it''s not his fault if we lose, the players aren''t good enough.

Well then Hughton didn''t beat Arsenal and Man U, those inferior players did.

Do you not see your being as hypocritical as those on here blaming Hughton for every little thing and demanding his head?[/quote]

When I say not good enough I meant not good enough to win every single game 5-0 as the more unrealistic on here seem to expect...

Interestingly the unrealistic folk on here also seem to be "Houghton outers".

Why is that do you suppose?

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