After two successive defeats we need to bounce back with a win to boost morale before our game with Villa on Saturday and a victory would also give us a great start to our Champions League campaign.
There has been a lot of debate as to whether we should persist with a 4-5-1 or go back to 4-4-2. Regular readers will know that I don’t feel that we really have a choice but to stick with 4-5-1 and therefore my team will play in that formation.
It looks like Heurelho Gomes will return in goal, which is very welcome. Unfortunately, it also looks like a game too early for Younes Kaboul and Ledley King after their injuries, leaving Bassong as our only recognised central defender.
If Ledley and Kaboul do miss out, then our only options are either Corluka or Huddlestone. I don’t think there’s a lot of difference between the two in the position, so it’s just a matter of whether we go for continuity or make a change. I just think that Corluka is struggling and would give the central defence position to Huddlestone, where he would have the pace to ping some of his balls towards the likes of Bale and Lennon.
Hutton and BAE should start at full back, allowing Bale to return to the left wing. I’d start with Lennon again on the right and in central midfield would go for Modric and Palacios. Yes, Wilson has been bad this season, but I think we need to go back to having a defensive midfielder, after looking pretty open against West Ham.
Van der Vaart plays in his position behind the lone striker. I’d keep Crouch in that role. He took some stick after the West Ham game, but he’s looked very good in Europe so far this season and deserves to keep his place for that reason.
So this is my team. Who would you go for?
——–Van der Vaart———